Posts for tag: Halloween
Teeth and Braces – Friendly Halloween Treats
Halloween is a ton of fun every year, and it’s right around the corner! We love the costumes, the decorations, and the local events, but we’re a little wary of all that candy. Sugar isn’t just tasty to us; the harmful bacteria in our mouths love it. If you want to make Halloween a little healthier for your teeth (and safer for your braces), Dr. Chris Wermerson has a handy breakdown of how different types of treats and canies rank in terms of promoting good dental health.
Types of Halloween Candy to Avoid
Anything hard, sticky, or sour is going to be bad for your teeth. Hard candy takes a while to dissolve, which means your teeth are exposed to sugar for a long time, and it can easily break a bracket loose. Even the nuts in soft candy bars pose a risk.
Sticky candy is a problem because it adheres to the teeth and braces, pushing the sugar right up against the enamel and gum tissue. That’s like breakfast in bed for bacteria! Sour candy might not pose the same dangers to your brackets, but it contains acid as well as sugar, so it’s doubly bad for teeth.
Candy That’s Good for Teeth?
Not all candy is awful for oral health or dangerous for braces. Chocolate is on the good end of the oral health spectrum, and the darker, the better. Chocolate contains flavonoids and polyphenols — compounds that limit oral bacteria, fight bad breath, and slow tooth decay. Dark chocolate has more of these compounds and their benefits are less offset by sugar than in sweeter milk chocolate.
Other candies that are safe to eat with braces and not terrible for your teeth include mint patties, peanut butter cups, and nut-free chocolate bars. These are soft and not too sticky, so you can safely bite into them without risking a bracket and an extra trip to Wermerson Orthodontics.
Fight Back Against the Effects of Sugar
Aside from avoiding the more harmful candies in favor of chocolate, there are other ways we can combat the effects sugar has on our teeth:
- Don’t give harmful oral bacteria an all-day buffet! If you’re planning on eating a lot of candy, it’s better to eat it all in one sitting than spreading it out across an entire day. This way, your saliva will have a chance to neutralize the acids and wash away leftover sugar.
- Drink water after enjoying some candy. It will help rinse out the sugar sticking to your teeth.
- Wait half an hour after eating candy, then brush your teeth! Good brushing and flossing habits are essential to protecting your teeth from the effects of sugary candy.
Another Great Resource Is Wermerson Orthodontics!
Being careful about which candy you eat and when, rinsing with water, and maintaining good daily brushing and flossing habits are all great, but don’t forget about the best resource you have: Wermerson Orthodontics! If you’d like to learn more about which treats are healthiest for your teeth and safest for your braces, all you have to do is ask!
Have a happy, healthy Halloween!
Call us today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chris Wermerson.
Dr. Wermerson is a Board Certified Orthodontist and member of the AAO, which has 17,000 members in the United States, Canada and abroad. Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who correct improperly aligned teeth and jaws (bad bites). They receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this formal education may call themselves “orthodontists,” and only orthodontists are eligible for membership in the AAO. Visit the AAO online at www.mylifemysmile.org.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions
We all love eating our favorite candy from time to time, especially around Halloween. But those treats can get tricky for orthodontic patients, because many of the standard goodies are harmful to braces. So how can you safely enjoy your spooky night of fun and sweets? We at Wermerson Orthodontics, in Sioux Falls, have listed some guidelines of what to aim for and what to avoid in the trick-or-treat bowls around your neighborhood.
Braces-Friendly Halloween Treats
The good news is that chocolate is safe! Any type of soft chocolate, from a bar to a peanut butter cup, is perfectly fine to eat with braces. But soft is the keyword there. Hard or large pieces of chocolate could still pose a danger to orthodontic equipment, and you should avoid chocolate with hard pieces of toffee embedded in it.
Cookies and brownies are another safe option for braces-wearers, so make sure you pay a visit to the house that always hands out baked goods this year! Again, softness is key. If someone gives you a hard cookie, give it a good long soak in cold milk before biting into it.
While whole caramel apples are firmly on the banned list, you can take that caramel apple home and chop it into slices. After that, it won’t pose a threat to your braces. Even better, apples are much healthier for your teeth than all that candy, so you can enjoy something both delicious and good for you!
Hard candies are okay, but there’s a catch: no chewing allowed. If you have the patience to be able to suck on it until it dissolves, a hard candy is safe. However, just because they’re safe for braces doesn’t make them great for your teeth, so we still recommend sticking to the other options.
Treats To Trade To Your No-Braces Friends
No matter how much you love them, there are some treats and candies that are definitely off-limits if you have braces. Anything hard, gummy, chewy, or sticky can put brackets and wires at risk. That means no taffy, gummies, caramels, toffee, popcorn, jelly beans, Tootsie Rolls, or Starbursts, and absolutely no gum. Any of these can pop or pull a bracket right off a tooth. It’s also important to avoid candies like M&Ms or Skittles, because their small size makes it easy for them to get into the wrong place and pop a bracket loose. If you do end up with a bag full of banned treats, just trade those away to a friend or sibling without braces until your Halloween haul is all orthodontist-approved!
Don’t Forget To Clean Your Teeth!
The most important thing to remember after your night of fun and tasty treats is to take care of your teeth and your braces, because many of the treats that are safe to eat can still lead to tooth decay without proper attention to dental hygiene. So make sure to brush and floss away all traces of that sugary deliciousness. We’ll be checking the next time we see you that you’ve been keeping up with your braces cleaning routine!
Keep making wise choices to keep your braces safe!