Most children associate October with one thing: Halloween candy. In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, orthodontists are encouraged to embrace a beautiful, healthy smile.
The American Association of Orthodontists has provided five timely tips to your patients for protecting braces, aligners, and other orthodontic “appliances” while protecting teeth from decay.
- Keep your braces and aligners out of trouble. Avoid hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy candy and snacks. Caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even sugarless), jellybeans, and soft drinks are examples.
- Hard treats, such as hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips, and popcorn, should be avoided (especially unpopped kernels). And, whether in orthodontic treatment or not, we recommend that no one chew ice.
- Refresh your memory! Because sugary foods can cause cavities, brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should brush and floss their teeth thoroughly after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
- The good news is that not all Halloween candy is forbidden. Soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, and other melt-in-your-mouth treats are excellent substitutes.
- Make an effort to improve your oral health. Avoiding hard and chewy sweets before the Halloween season increases your chances of success while decreasing the likelihood of breaking braces.