October 31st is a day known for terrors, creative costumes and buckets full of sticky candy. For a parent to a braces-wearing child, you may ask, “how can my child still enjoy Halloween without ruining their braces?” And you’re right to be concerned.
Certain foods are better suited for braces, and hard candies do not make the list. Unfortunately, hard, crunchy or chewy candy, including favorites like taffy, may damage dental appliances. Therefore, consuming these candies could result in pain and costly repairs. No one wants that.
So, read on for 8 tips to survive Halloween without damaging your child’s braces.
- Avoid chewy, sticky or hard candy.
These delights have a tendency to stick to brackets and wires and can even pull parts of braces off. Some of the biggest offenders include bubblegum, caramel, taffy, hard candy, jellybeans, licorice, candy corn, nuts, chewy candies, popcorn and caramel apples.
- Know which candies are safe to eat with braces.
Fortunately, there are plenty of sweet Halloween treats that are braces-friendly and way less likely to cause problems. These include Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, plain M&Ms, Kit Kats, 3 Musketeers, Hershey’s Bars & Hershey’s Kisses, Oreos and soft cookies, and candy bars without nuts or caramel.
- Fill up on braces-safe snacks.
You can reduce your kid’s cravings for sweets by making sure they have a full stomach before they trick or treat. There are plenty of delicious, braces-safe snacks that they can eat.
- Encourage trading for braces-friendly treats.
If you notice problematic treats in your kid’s trick-or-treating bag, encourage him or her to trade with a friend or sibling for treats that won’t damage their braces.
- Have a backup plan.
Consider keeping an extra bag of braces-friendly candy at home and swap out problematic candies for treats that won’t cause harm.
- Brush a little extra.
On Halloween night, make sure your kid spends some extra time taking care of their mouth and braces by brushing and flossing, as well as rinsing with an anti-cavity mouthwash that contains fluoride.
- Address dental issues as soon as possible.
If you notice slight damage to your kid’s braces, visit your orthodontist as soon as possible.
- Keep consistent dental appointments.
Maintain regular checkups with your dentist and orthodontist to catch any potential issues early before they develop into painful problems, requiring costly treatments.
As you can see, having braces doesn’t have to make Halloween a bore for your kid. As long as you stay mindful and make sure that they avoid eating damaging candy, it’ll be a day full of safe and healthy smiles!