Halloween candy is what most children associate with October. Orthodontists are encouraged to embrace a beautiful, healthy smile in honor of National Orthodontic Health Month.
The American Association of Orthodontists has issued five timely reminders to your patients about how to keep their braces, aligners, and other orthodontic “appliances” clean and free of decay.
- Keep your braces and aligners in good condition. Hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy candy and snacks should be avoided. Some examples include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even sugarless), jellybeans, and soft drinks.
- Avoid hard treats like hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips, and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels). We also do not recommend chewing ice, whether or not you are in orthodontic treatment.
- Relive your childhood experiences! Brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season because sugary foods can cause cavities. After eating sugary or starchy foods, orthodontic patients should brush and floss their teeth thoroughly.
- Good news: not all Halloween candy is illegal. Soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, and other melt-in-your-mouth treats work well as a substitute.
- Attempt to improve your oral health. Avoiding hard and chewy sweets before Halloween improves your chances of success while lowering the risk of your braces breaking.