Wearing braces is a means to an end. For younger people, especially, it’s not something they’re necessarily excited about, but because many of their friends are going through it, too, it’s not so bad. They know when all is said and done, they’ll have a beautifully straight smile.
The experience is made even more bearable when you can choose braces that are far less noticeable. Six Month Smiles at Carolina Bright Smiles, for example, is an alternative to traditional metal braces that’s ideal for adults and teens alike.
That’s because Six Month Smiles uses clear brackets and tooth-colored wires so you don’t have to walk around with dark metal braces for the next couple of years. And the name itself reveals another perk. You can have a straight smile in less than half the time of traditional braces.
Sounds great, right?
Of course! But one thing all braces that require brackets and wires have in common are the limitations they can put on your lifestyle. Because each tooth is covered with these tiny little havens for food particles and debris, you have to be extra careful about what you eat and extra diligent about oral hygiene.
Again, it’s a manageable means to an end. The payoff is worth it. But it can be a bit problematic during those times of the year when the rest of the world seems to be indulging in stuff you can’t have. Halloween is definitely one of those times!
But our team at Carolina Bright Smiles has some good news for you! It turns out that you don’t have to bypass all the delicious candy this time of year just because you’re wearing braces.
Today, we’re talking about the sticky business of braces on Halloween, and how you can still enjoy the holiday despite your orthodontic treatment.
Braces Are A Sticky Business On Halloween
As we said before, wearing braces, especially during Halloween season, means some sweet treats are off limits. You don’t want to risk problems like tooth decay or damage to your brackets and wires, so you have to be more careful than you would without braces.
Why would you be more at risk for dental problems like this? For one thing, sugar is what sticks to your teeth, and consequently, your braces, which provides food for harmful bacteria in your mouth. Braces give that bacteria ample opportunity to feast away and create plaque acids that can lead to tooth decay.
For another thing, there’s the issue of hard candy and the running the risk of biting down the wrong way and breaking or damaging your braces somehow.
So if you’re wearing braces, which Halloween candy is a trick and which is a treat?
Tricks: Soft candy that’s sticky and gooey like caramel, taffy, bubble gum, and nougat.
This is true for anyone, actually, not just people undergoing orthodontic treatment. Candy that is more prone to stick to your teeth and your dental work is a recipe for disaster for your mouth. You should try to avoid candy like this because it makes it so much harder to keep your teeth and braces clean of sugary leftovers that glue themselves to your brackets and wires.
Tricks: Hard candy that can damage your teeth and braces.
This kind of goes without saying, but hard candy poses a risk as well. So you should try to stay away from Jolly Ranchers, suckers, and butterscotch, for example. However, if you are patient enough to suck on hard candy long enough to let it dissolve completely, you could indulge here and there. But remember, to avoid potential decay, you’ll definitely want to rinse your mouth with water or brush your teeth about a half hour after eating it.
Treats: Softer candy like milk chocolate candy bars (without nuts, toffee pieces, etc.), licorice, cookies, cupcakes, or M&M’s…
Like any sweets, whether you wear braces or not, it’s important to practice moderation. Don’t snack on candy all throughout the day, but instead, reserve it as an after-dinner treat. Be extra cautious about the type of candy you choose, how you eat it, and about how you clean your teeth, braces, and gums afterward.
Drinking a bit more water than you normally do is a good idea, too. That way you have plenty of saliva being produced in your mouth at all times so your tooth enamel is protected from plaque acids.
From all of us here in our Hillsborough, NC dental office, we hope you have a fun and safe Halloween. If you have questions about your braces or want to know more about our orthodontic treatment options, call us today at 919-644-7400 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.