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The holidays are right around the corner! The first one up is Halloween—and we all know what that means.

What’s more exciting for children and young teens than the whole neighborhood giving away free candy?! I mean, really…

But how does a child going through orthodontic treatment navigate Halloween? Are all the Halloween candies still on the table? Should you avoid Halloween altogether, buy some braces-friendly snacks, and have your own party? (Actually… that’s not a bad idea.)

At Jupiter Orthodontics, we’re practical. We’re not going to advise that you don’t eat Halloween candy and miss out on the festivities. That would be a crime.

We’re here to give you tips and tricks to help you survive Halloween without a cavity or emergency braces repair! Your ortho treatment gives you a chance to branch out this year and try some different Halloween candy. And fortunately, there are just as many braces-friendly candies as there are braces-unfriendly candies. Check it out:

Worst Candy for Braces

Let’s address the bad news first. These are the candies you should try your best to avoid with braces:

  • Hard candies: Biting into a jawbreaker, Jolly Rancher, Runt or Life Saver could land you right in our exam chair with a broken bracket or loose wire. Not only can some hard candies damage your braces, but they can also damage your teeth! Be extra careful with hard Halloween candy and avoid it as much as possible.
  • Sticky candies: Those sticky candies that require some serious chewing – you know the ones – should be donated to your friends’ bags this Halloween. A Laffy Taffy, Starburst, Now & Later or caramel-filled candy can stick to your brackets and wires, get lodged between your teeth and braces, or pull a wire loose while you’re chewing.
  • Nuts: Snickers, peanut M&M’s, PayDay, Peanut Brittle, and chocolate-covered almonds unfortunately come with some risks when you have braces. Nuts are infamous for getting stuck in wires and stuck between teeth. Similar to hard candy, biting down on a nut can disrupt your treatment and require a replacement bracket.

If you saw your favorite candy (or your child’s favorite candy) on that list, we send our deepest condolences. Take a moment to grieve, then prepare yourself for an even longer list of braces-approved Halloween candy!

Best Candy for Braces

  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  • Hershey’s chocolate bars
  • Hershey’s kisses
  • Three Musketeers
  • Ice cream
  • Ice cream sandwiches
  • Soft cookies without nuts: Sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies
  • Cupcakes
  • Kit Kat bars
  • Milky Way
  • Jelly beans

There are tons of different candies out there! Don’t limit yourself to old habits and favorites. If you aren’t sure whether your favorite candy is a braces-friendly snack, we encourage you to reach out to us or ask us at your next check-in appointment.

Oral Hygiene Tips for Halloween

It’s no secret that candy is damaging to our dental health. Our mouths are home to over 6 billion bacteria at any time. While a lot of these bacteria are considered good bacteria, and they won’t harm you, there are some bad bacteria just waiting for a chance to grow.

When sugar comes in contact with these bad bacteria, this creates acid in the mouth. The mouth becomes an acidic environment, meaning the pH of saliva drops below 5.5. – the normal pH range for saliva is 6.2 to 7.6.

When the pH levels in your mouth dip, this increased acidity starts to break down the protective enamel on your teeth and places you at a higher risk of developing cavities (tooth decay).

Yikes—that’s scary to think about! If you’re looking to minimize the damage done to your teeth and braces during the holidays, we’ve got tips for you.

  • Rinse your mouth & brush your teeth! After you enjoy a handful of candies, give your teeth a break! Go rinse your mouth out with water and brush your teeth. Rinsing your mouth out and cleaning your teeth can prevent the sugars from building up and creating a highly-acidic environment in your mouth.

The longer you leave sugar on your teeth, the more damage it does. Even a mouthful of water can cleanse your teeth and reduce the acid damage.

  • Don’t go to sleep without flossing. Of all nights, Halloween night is especially critical for cleaning your teeth! After you’ve filled your stomach with candy and your teeth have gone through the wringer, they’ll need your support.

Brush your teeth, then give them a thorough flossing. You want to make sure you’re not leaving any sugars between your teeth to build up overnight. This is how cavities form!

  • Consider Invisalign®. If you haven’t begun orthodontic treatment yet, or you’re doing some reconnaissance before your child begins treatment, consider choosing Invsialign instead of braces. We’re proud to offer Invisalign for teens and adults!

Invisalign is removable, which means no dietary restrictions—no Halloween candy restrictions! Your child can simply remove his or her aligners to chow down, then clean the aligners, clean their teeth thoroughly, and place the aligners back in to continue with their treatment.

We just want to help you make the best decisions for your smile, in order to prevent dental damage that can derail you from your treatment, or even worse, require a dental repair.

Happy (almost) Halloween from your favorite orthodontists, Dr. King and Dr. Welch, and your favorite team at Jupiter Orthodontics.

If you have any questions about acceptable candies or you have a question about your child’s treatment, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We love hearing from you.

We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment— and every holiday that falls in between.

Begin your journey today by requesting your free exam with top orthodontists in Jupiter!

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