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