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This National Orthodontic Health Month, Choose Candies Wisely

Posted October 30, 2013

halloween

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK- Dangerous Halloween treats are lurking in grocery stores everywhere, but October isn’t solely an occasion to indulge in sticky-sweet goodies. Did you know it’s also National Orthodontic Health Month?

The timing is quite ironic. National Orthodontic Health Month is intended to spotlight the countless benefits of undergoing orthodontic treatment, but traditional Halloween candies like candy corn, taffy and caramels are notorious for wrecking orthodontic appliances.

We want our patients to partake in the festivities of the season while being proactive about their orthodontic health. By remembering a few simple rules, it is possible to enjoy the delicious treats of Halloween while keeping braces intact and treatment on course.

It’s important to stay away from frighteningly tough, crunchy and chewy candies. These include:

  • Sugary gum
  • Chocolates with chewy or crunchy centers
  • Caramels
  • Gummy snacks
  • Candy corn
  • Taffy
  • Hard candies
  • Tootsie Rolls

Modern braces are tough, but not indestructible. The candies listed above all have the potential to uproot brackets and become entangled in wires. The longer candy stays in the mouth, the more destruction can occur.

“A good rule to remember is if the candy takes more than a few seconds to chew and swallow, it should be avoided,” says New York City orthodontist Dr. Mark Bronsky. “There are plenty of braces-friendly alternatives available, though.”

Is the candy soft? Can it be chewed quickly? If the answer to these questions is yes, it’s probably safe to enjoy. Treats that are generally permissible for orthodontic patients include:

  • Marshmallows
  • Chocolates with soft centers (Reeses, 3 Muskateers)
  • Ice cream treats
  • Freshly baked cookies
  • Milkshakes

Abiding by our Halloween goodie guidelines can eliminate the need for appliance repair and keep treatment on track. Practicing adequate oral hygiene habits is also important, since candy pieces can easily become wedged in braces and trigger cavities, yellowing and unpleasant breath.

Making smart choices while in braces will accelerate treatment and allow you to enjoy the aesthetic and dental health benefits of an aligned smile sooner rather than later. To learn more about the advantages of making orthodontic health a priority, please contact us today.

Happy (and safe) trick-or-treating!