Long Beach, CA – Halloween is just around the corner, and stores are full of candy. These Halloween treats and your braces can be a scary combination, but we’ve got some tips to ensure your smile stays healthy and your braces don’t get damaged this Halloween season.
- Just say “BOO!” to these treats – hard, sticky, crunchy, chewy candies. Avoid treats such as taffy, Tootsie rolls, Starbursts, caramels, toffee, anything with nuts, etc. These can damage the brackets and wires of your braces.
- Gobble up soft candies, such as chocolates like Hershey’s Kisses or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or soft cookies. These can be eaten easily and pose no threat to your braces. If you have siblings or close friends, see if they’ll be up to swapping candies with you – trade out the ones that can damage your braces for ones that can easily be eaten.
- Scare away treats that linger in your mouth. Lollipops, Jolly Ranchers and other candies that take a while to eat open your mouth up to increased risk of decay. The longer the sugar sits in your mouth, the more damage it can do.
- Limit your candy intake. Halloween bags filled to the brim are an exciting thing for kids, but not for dental professionals! We want you to enjoy the spooky holiday, but want you to remember to limit how much candy you eat. Try pairing your treat with a big glass of water, or enjoy it after a meal. The water can help wash away the sugars left by the candy, and eating with a meal ensures plenty of saliva production to help, too.
- Embrace the Halloween toothbrush. Every neighborhood has that house that hands out toothbrushes – and if you wear braces, you should be thanking that neighbor this year! You know how important it is to brush and floss after every meal and snack, and having an extra toothbrush to carry with you will be handy. Even if you aren’t eating candies that could damage your braces, the sugars from the treats could create plaque buildup that can lead to decay if your teeth aren’t properly cleaned.
- Donate your candy to a good cause! HD Orthodontics, as well as several other dental offices participate in the Candy Buy Back program. For every pound of candy brought into the office after Halloween, $1 is donated to the Children’s Dental Health Clinic at the Long Beach Memorial Children’s Hospital. All candy is subsequently shipped to our troops overseas.
Halloween is often at the top of the favorite holiday list for kids and teens. Wearing braces doesn’t have to change that, as long as you make sure you don’t forget the dos and don’ts of wearing braces. Taking proper care of your oral health is important to stave off decay, but also because tooth decay and gum disease can negatively impact the effectiveness of your orthodontic treatment. If you cannot brush right away after eating, be sure to follow up your treats with a big glass of water to wash away the sugars and candy bits left in your mouth. Then, as soon as you get home, brush and floss carefully.
If you practice good oral hygiene and follow the advice of your orthodontist throughout the year, it will make it much easier during Halloween and the upcoming holiday season.
If you ever have questions about your braces care, or have concerns, call HD Orthodontics at 562.283.6590.