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Ghosts and goblins, superheroes and princesses… Halloween is here. And although dressing up is super fun, we all know that for kids (and maybe adults, too) the best part of the spooky season is candy, candy, candy! But if you or your kid has braces, you might be wondering how to enjoy Halloween to its fullest without damaging your orthodontics. Is candy totally off-limits with braces?

Well, we at Piskai Orthodontics are pleased to let you know that Halloween candy and braces can co-exist. It’s just a matter of knowing what Halloween candy to avoid with braces and what candy you can safely eat with braces.

In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of the do’s and don’ts of candy and braces — so you can better decide which trick-or-treating candy to keep and what to let go. We’ll go over:

  • Which foods to eat and which to avoid with braces
  • What candy you can eat with braces
  • Halloween candy to avoid with braces
  • Other tips for choosing braces-friendly Halloween candy

Which Foods to Eat and Which to Avoid with Braces

Before we jump into tips for eating Halloween candy with braces, let’s quickly go over some overall guidelines for foods to avoid with braces. After all, Halloween not only brings candy and chocolate but other sweets like cookies, cupcakes, rice krispie treats, and caramel apples.

If you or your child recently got braces, teeth might feel extra sensitive, so Dr. Piskai suggests sticking to soft foods and foods that soothe oral discomfort like:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Yogurt
  • Apple sauce
  • Steamed veggies
  • Pasta
  • Soup
  • Oatmeal
  • Soft fruit like bananas
  • Protein like tofu or ground turkey and beef
  • Rice or Couscous
  • Smoothies and milkshakes

And foods to avoid with braces? A general rule-of-thumb is avoiding hard, crunchy, sticky or really chewy foods. These textures can break brackets, bend archwires, or loosen elastics and rubber bands.

Foods to avoid with braces include:

  • Nuts
  • Pizza crust, chewy bread rolls or bagels
  • Popcorn
  • Taco chips and hard taco shells
  • Certain kinds of pretzels
  • Pepperoni sticks
  • Raw carrots or celery
  • Sticky foods like caramel or taffy
  • Food you bite into directly like meat on the bone or whole raw apples

Now, not only are food choices important for braces-wearers but so is knowing how to eat with braces. Don’t bite or tear into foods with your front teeth. Instead, cut or break foods into bite-sized pieces and chew with your molars.

What Candy You Can Eat with Braces

Braces-friendly Halloween candy is key for joining in the fun without worrying about damaging your orthodontic appliance. And if you and your kids count chocolate as a fave? You might be wondering, “Can you eat chocolate with braces?”

Simply put, yes, you can eat chocolate with braces. In fact, our list of braces-friendly candy is mostly chocolate since many other Halloween candies are too gummy, sticky, or hard for braces.

Here is some candy options you can eat with braces without damaging your appliance:

  • Chocolate bars without nuts (break into small pieces and chew with your back teeth or let them melt in your mouth)
  • Hershey’s Kisses
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Peppermint patties
  • Pixy Stix
  • Plain M&Ms or Reese’s Pieces

Other Halloween treats like jello and apple cider are also ok for braces. And those Halloween-themed baked goods and caramel apples we mentioned earlier? We say soft-baked cookies are ok but skip hard ones like sugar cookies. Rice krispie treats are too sticky but cupcakes won’t damage braces so go ahead! Candy apples are a definite no. Halloween

Candy to Avoid with Braces

Some candy can damage braces because they’re too hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy. Damaged or broken braces can set back your orthodontic progress, meaning you might need to wear your braces for longer.

Candy to avoid with braces:

  • Caramels and taffy
  • Hard candies like Jolly Ranchers and lollipops
  • Chewy candy like jelly beans, licorice, Starburst, Skittles
  • Bubble gum
  • Popcorn (both regular and caramel-covered)
  • Candy with nuts

Other Tips When Choosing Braces-friendly Halloween Candy

Now that we’ve answered, “What candy can you eat with braces?” and “What candy can’t you eat with braces?” let’s talk about a few other tips for Halloween candy and braces.

On top of protecting your braces, you also want to maintain good oral health at Halloween. It goes without saying that eating lots of sugar can contribute to tooth decay, cavities… even gum disease! And brackets and wires have so many nooks and crannies that it’s easy for bits of candy and chocolate to stick to them. Even the sleeker, easier-to-clean LightForce braces we offer at Piskai Orthodontics can still get Halloween candy stuck to them. Plus, even if you don’t see any food debris hanging around your braces, invisible sugar bugs can linger that could eventually cause cavities.

How to keep a healthy mouth while enjoying Halloween candy, especially with braces? Tip one, a super thorough brushing and flossing routine. Ramp up your usual at-home oral care by rinsing your mouth with water after eating candy, then brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing your teeth — every time.

Second tip, we at Piskai Orthodontics suggest you eat Halloween candy in moderation. Yes, we get it… this might sound out-of-reach, especially for kids. But you might find that having to avoid certain candy when you have braces helps with minimizing consumption anyway. High-five for braces: straight, functional teeth and better food choices!

Dr. Piskai and your Voorhees, NJ orthodontist team wish you a super fun, spooky Halloween! If you haven’t made an appointment with us before about braces or Invisalign, we’ve got you and your kids covered.

‍Contact us today for your perfect smile transformation with custom, modern LightForce braces or Invisalign treatment.