Halloween, the holiday of endless candy, is a little more complicated while you’re wearing braces. Many candies have the potential to break brackets and bend wires, potentially adding months to your treatment. Thankfully, there are lots of safe options!

Good Stuff

Rejoice! The safest candy is chocolate! Soft chocolate bars are unlikely to do any damage, so you can devour your Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Cups with little danger. But be careful with big bars—biting into the chocolate could damage the equipment on your front teeth. Try breaking them into smaller pieces or eating fun-size bars. Also, don’t eat frozen chocolate, which is likely to be very hard.

Cookies and crackers are fine, but once again, be careful about hardness. Really hard cookies could cause damage. If you’re not sure, try dipping them in milk or hot chocolate to soften them before eating.

Apples are great in bite-size pieces! Don’t bite into a candied/caramel/plain apple, but feel free to cut it up and drizzle or dip in sauce.

Other candies may be ok with extreme caution, such as hard candies. They cannot (under any circumstances) be chewed, but you may be able to safely suck on them.

Bad Stuff

Sticky candy is the #1 enemy of braces, so you’ll have to stay away from caramel, gummies, jelly beans, taffy, Star Bursts, Tootsie Rolls, and any other sticky candies. They tear up your braces and honestly, they will probably hurt your tender teeth.

Skittles and M&M’s may seem innocent, but those tiny pieces of candy love to slip inside wires and pop off brackets. Better stay away.

Trying to chew hard candies puts a huge amount of pressure on your braces and frequently leads to broken brackets and bent wires.

Popcorn may look safe and fluffy, but it hides sneaky attack kernels that would love to get caught and cause an infection. Anyone who has tried popcorn with braces can tell you about the frustration of trying to remove tiny pieces stuck between teeth, wires, and brackets.

By now you may feel doomed to a sugarless Halloween, but don’t despair! We have some tips.

  1. Trade your bad candy for good ones. Now’s a great time to bargain your little brother out of his Reese’s.
  2. Donate your unwanted candy to friends and gain some goodwill.
  3. Bake cookies or make milkshakes instead of getting candy.

Whatever you end up doing, be sure to brush your teeth really well after having sweets—even “good” candy can cause cavities! All of us at Appel Orthodontics wish you a happy (and pain-free) Halloween!

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