How to Manage Orthodontic Health and Halloween: Best Treats, Worst Treats, and Candy Buy Back
posted on 10-24-17
Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping and things are just getting a bit spookier. It’s Halloween time again. Halloween can be a fun experience for all children young and old, and the age-old tradition of trick-or-treating is a highlight of many a Halloween memory.
However, the sweet rewards of a night out trick-or-treating can cause a lot of damage to braces and oral health. Don’t risk your children being stuck with longer treatment times. Be aware of what candy is better for braces, which you should avoid at all costs, and what you can do with all of those leftover Halloween sweets.
Best Treats for Braces
We know it’s not realistic to expect children with braces to miss out on their Halloween candy haul entirely, so the best thing to do is help them make better choices with the candy they eat.
Some of the safer options are:
- Chocolate—Chocolate is easy to chew and won’t damage braces. Just make sure that it is plain chocolate and doesn’t have any nuts, caramel, nougat etc. in it.
- Candy with Soft Centers that aren’t sticky—Like chocolate, soft candy is easy to chew, and won’t damage braces or wires. Some examples are peanut butter cups, mint patties, 3 Musketeers, etc.
- Mint patties—These are a soft and refreshing treat.
- Kit-Kat and Crunch bars—These two are good options for a bit of crunch in your chocolate, but the popped rice and wafers are fairly soft and won’t risk bending orthodontic wires.
- Hard candy—is an option if your child is cautious. Candies like Lifesavers and Jolly Ranchers can be safe, as long as they are not chewed.
Just make sure that your children give their teeth a thorough brushing and floss session after eating candy to remove leftover sugary particles from their braces so cavity development can be prevented.
Worst Treats for Braces
The worst Halloween treats for braces and other orthodontic appliances that should be avoided at all costs are:
- Chewy and Sticky candy—Candy such as caramels, taffy, Skittles, and Starbursts are extremely sticky and can easily get stuck between teeth, gums, and braces. It is difficult to clean the leftovers out of your mouth, and leaving them there could potentially lead to cavities and extended treatment times.
- Hard Candy—Candy that is hard or has a hard outer coating, such as a Tootsie Pops, Blow Pops, Skor bars, or Jolly Ranchers could bend wires or pop off a bracket or two if you happen to chew on them. (Note: Candy like Jolly Ranchers and Lifesavers can be enjoyed with caution, as long as they aren’t chewed on.)
- Candy with Nuts—Candy with nuts, such as Almond Joy, Snickers, Hershey’s with Almonds, etc. provide the same danger as hard candy as nuts can easily get trapped under wires.
Once your kid has picked through all of their candy and chosen the ones they can eat, there’s no need to waste the ones they can’t. Your orthodontist will actually buy back all of the candy you have left and donate it to local charity organizations.
What Is “Candy Buy Back”?
Candy Buy Back is a program hosted by orthodontic offices across the country that exchanges Halloween candy for other rewards. For every pound of treats collected, participating offices will reward patients with prizes or cash.
The candy exchanged during the buy back will be donated to charitable organizations.
How to Participate
Find a Location Near You
To find a participating office, look up your nearest orthodontic office and give them a call to find out if they are participating in this year’s Candy Buy Back.