How to enjoy Trick-or-Treating with braces!

How to enjoy Trick-or-Treating with braces!

It’s that time of the year again, folks- the one day out of the year where everyone gets to dress up as their favorite superhero, scary ghoul, horror movie character, or dress up in group costumes to hunt down the best sugary treats throughout the neighborhood. It is also the one time of the year when your dentist and orthodontist cringe about the potential aftermath that ensues following Halloween as cavities and/or broken brackets become a pandemic occurrence.

No need to fret though because you can have select sweets that are braces friendly AND eat them too. Here is a list of candies and sweets that are braces-friendly and won’t upset your orthodontist:

trick_or_treat.jpg

When enjoying sweets that are braces-friendly, remember only to eat them for a limited period of time.

To elaborate, I prefer to have my patients eat as much candy for 1 hour versus over the course of a few hours. The reason behind this madness is that candy serves as a food source for the bacteria in your mouth that cause cavities. If you are eating sugary foods over the course of a few hours, you are constantly feeding the bacteria and allowing them to do more damage than good.

I have a confession-I have a sweet tooth myself, BUT it is really important to maintain good oral hygiene with proper brushing techniques, flossing, and of course, fluoride mouth rinses. Make sure to brush around the brackets with half of the brush on the tooth and half of it on the gum. A lot of food residue gets trapped slightly below the gum line, so it is important to clean these areas well using gentle circular motions. I suggest using proper flossing techniques with a floss threader with floss and/or platypus flosser in addition to a Waterpik water flosser. Not only does this remove the gross amount of plaque around the brackets, but also provides a cleaned tooth surface.

Here are some pictures illustrating proper oral hygiene techniques:

  Floss threader with floss. 1) Loop floss through the threader; 2) Direct floss around the tooth and below where the teeth contact each other on both sides for proper flossing technique

Floss threader with floss. 1) Loop floss through the threader; 2) Direct floss around the tooth and below where the teeth contact each other on both sides for proper flossing technique

  Waterpik water flosser and its application around braces and around the gumline.

Waterpik water flosser and its application around braces and around the gumline.

  Waterpik unit (available at    Costco    or    Walgreens   )

Waterpik unit (available at Costco or Walgreens)

  Platypus Flosser (notice the device bypasses the wire and goes below the contact)

Platypus Flosser (notice the device bypasses the wire and goes below the contact)

  Brushing with braces (notice the toothbrush positioned in various angles to maximize the cleaning surface of the toothbrush bristles)

Brushing with braces (notice the toothbrush positioned in various angles to maximize the cleaning surface of the toothbrush bristles)

Finally, make sure to have lots of fun, stay safe, and take lots of selfies showing your bright, beautiful smiles! Happy Halloween :)

Dr. Lee

Source: https://medium.com/@drjefflee/how-to-enjoy...