If your child is undergoing orthodontic treatment with a form of braces, does that mean you should avoid Halloween altogether, buy some braces-friendly snacks, and have your own party? (Actually… that’s not a bad idea.)

Good news: braces won’t stop your child from trick-or-treating. Parents, you won’t have a sad child on Halloween night.

On the other hand, it’s true that not all of the Halloween candy is still on the table if your child has braces. Kids may have to make some trade deals with friends in order to maximize their braces-friendly snack arsenal.

Let’s dive into the Top 5 Halloween Candies that are certified braces-friendly—and the ones that aren’t so braces-friendly.

Best Candy for Braces

As an orthodontic practice, it wouldn’t be fair for our Top 5 Halloween Candies to not be braces-friendly.

In no particular order, here’s our lineup:

  1. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
  2. Sugar cookies
  3. Kit Kat bars
  4. Jelly beans
  5. Three Musketeers

You can’t go wrong with the festive, Halloween-themed Reese’s! All of these candies are soft enough for you to bite into with braces, without risking a broken bracket, and they aren’t sticky enough to leave you with a gooey mess.

Here are some other braces-friendly ideas:

  • Hershey’s chocolate bars
  • Hershey’s kisses
  • Ice cream sandwiches
  • Soft cookies without nuts: chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies
  • Cupcakes
  • Milky Way

Worst Candy for Braces

These are the candies you should try your best to avoid with braces:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

There are tons of different candies out there. Don’t limit yourself to old habits and favorites; try something new! 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.

The Spooky Truth about Oral Hygiene & Halloween

A broken bracket or loose wire isn’t the only thing to worry about with Halloween candy. As we all know, candy has a lot of sugar—and sugar often means cavities.

It’s not necessarily the sugar that creates the cavities. It’s the bacteria that feeds on the sugar. (Yikes!)

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).

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 kids, 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.

If you’re ready to start Invisalign treatment before Halloween, or you’re planning to chow down on Halloween candy next year, request your complimentary exam with us today!

The Bottom Line

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. Wiewiora & Dr. Dunn, and your favorite team at Wiewiora & Dunn Orthodontics!

Whether it’s a practice or a game, don’t forget to wear your mouthguard. You’re better off safe than sorry when it comes to your smile!

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.

If you’re looking for a top orthodontist in Longwood or Lake Mary, we’d love to meet you! Request a complimentary exam for you or your child today.