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Trick or Treat: Surviving Halloween with Braces

Can I eat Halloween candy with braces?

No one wants to miss out on Halloween fun, and for many, costumes and candy are what make the holiday so enjoyable. At Parris Ortho, we recommend all children and adults limit their intake of sweet, crunchy, chewy, and gooey foods, since enjoying too much of these can lead to bacteria growth and infections as well as cavities and tooth decay. If you’re planning to enjoy a few treats at Halloween, but are curious to know which foods to avoid if you wear braces, read on for our tips and tricks to surviving Halloween with braces.

Tips and Tricks for Surviving Halloween with Braces

Why You Should Avoid Sticky and Chewy Foods and Candy with Braces

Ooey, gooey caramels and chewy clusters might be delicious, but they can end up costing you a bit more than the price on the packaging if you wear braces. Sticky and chewy foods can become attached to the delicate components of metal braces, and if you break or pop a wire or bracket, you’ll need to schedule a trip to the dentist to repair the damage or risk losing your progress and investment.

We recommend avoiding hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky foods as often as possible, but these popular Halloween treats are at the top of our list for items to avoid in order to prevent damage to your braces and your teeth.

Caramel Apples

While caramel apples are a tempting fall treat, it’s best to avoid them if you wear traditional or clear braces. Sticky caramel can wreak havoc on metal braces, and the leftover residue from ooey, gooey treats can lead to a buildup of bacteria which cause cavities and tooth decay. It’s undesirable for anyone to have leftover food particles and residue, but for those who wear Invisalign and other forms of clear braces, the barrier between the teeth and the braces can encourage even more bacterial growth.

Candy Bars

Many types of candy bars include ingredients that can be damaging and harmful to teeth and braces. While the toughness and texture of candy bars are partly to blame, sticky caramel is the biggest culprit. Just a few of the most popular candy bars available featuring caramel include:

  • 3 Musketeers
  • Milky Way
  • Pay Day
  • Snickers
  • Twix
  • Peanut Brittle

While delicious yet not so nutritious, peanut brittle is one of the worst foods you can eat with braces. Biting into hard foods like peanut brittle can increase your chances of popping off brackets and wires, while sticky and chewy foods like brittle can become attached to the hardware of your braces, which can put you at risk for bacterial infections and cavities.

Traditional Braces vs. Invisalign

While it’s still recommended you avoid sticky and chewy foods with Invisalign, users of clear braces can avoid the possibility of damaging metal fixtures like wires and brackets. With Invisalign, you simply remove the clear tray to eat and brush before placing it back on. This allows you more flexibility in what you can choose to eat, but remember to clean the tray and your teeth well after each meal.

LEARN MORE ABOUT INVISALIGN

The Importance of Brushing and Flossing

Whether you have traditional metal or clear braces, always brush and floss your teeth after eating to ensure no food particles or residue remain left behind. For those with traditional metal braces, food particles can damage the brackets, bands, and wires that keep braces in place. For those with clear braces, such as Invisalign, food particles and residue can cause bacteria growth and buildup in the barrier between the teeth and the braces. This can lead to tooth decay and loss as well as periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease.

 

Posted by Bill Parris at 11:11 AM
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