Halloween always comes on October 31, and many children, teens, and adults are getting ready to celebrate. Candy is being gathered by the bagful, and costumes are being selected with care, ensuring everyone is prepared for a night of trick-or-treating or an amazing party.
But, did you know that Halloween isn’t the only thing to celebrate each October? It’s also National Orthodontic Month. Since one of the biggest candy days of the year is just around the corner, here are some tips for keeping your braces, aligners, and orthodontic appliances safe this Halloween.
Watch Out for Sticky Situations
Sticky candies can be spooky for braces-wearers. Caramels, gummies, taffies, jelly beans, bubblegum, and licorice can all get wrapped around wires and brackets. Not only does this increase the odds that sugary particles will get stuck against teeth, but pulling stuck candy out of braces can dislodge brackets, bend wires, and do other kinds of damage.
Those who wear aligners also have to be careful. Since these candies can stick to the surfaces of teeth, if you put an aligner on right after eating, you are trapping sugary residue. This can increase the rate of tooth decay, which is never good.
Beware of Hard Treats
Certain hard treats can also be risky for anyone who wears braces. Biting into hard candies or candied apples can dislodge or damage wires and brackets. If that happens, an emergency orthodontic appointment with your Frisco dentist might be necessary.
Sucking on hard candies also keeps sugar in your mouth for longer. Until the candies dissolve and the mouth is properly cleaned, it is essentially constant exposure. Plus, if you wear an aligner while enjoying a hard candy, the sugars aren’t just hitting your teeth; it’s on your aligner, too. Without a good cleaning, the sugar residue can increase the rate of tooth decay.
Run from the Crunch
Many crunchy foods can damage braces. Nuts (including candies with nuts), popcorn, and tortilla chips are notorious for damaging or dislodging wires and brackets. Similarly, biting into a whole apple, like you might do while bobbing for apples, is similarly risky.
Halloween Treat Alternatives
While the list above may make it look like those in orthodontic treatment can’t enjoy any Halloween treats, that isn’t true. Peanut butter cups, softer chocolates, or any other candy that isn’t overly tough or sticky is fine in moderation. So, don’t be afraid to indulge a bit. Just make sure you are smart about the treats you do enjoy so that your braces, aligners, or other orthodontic appliances can stay safe this Halloween.