Most children associate October with Halloween candy. In honor of National Orthodontic Health Month, orthodontists are encouraged to embrace a beautiful, healthy smile.
The American Association of Orthodontists has issued five timely reminders to your patients on how to protect their braces, aligners, and other orthodontic “appliances” while also protecting their teeth from decay.
- Maintain the condition of your braces and aligners. Candy and snacks that are hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy should be avoided. Caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even sugarless), jellybeans, and soft drinks are some examples.
- Hard treats such as hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips, and popcorn should be avoided (especially unpopped kernels). We also don’t recommend chewing ice, whether you’re in orthodontic treatment or not.
- Relive your childhood memories! Because sugary foods can cause cavities, brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should brush and floss their teeth thoroughly after eating sugary or starchy foods.
- The good news is that not all Halloween candy is illegal. As a substitute, soft chocolates, peanut butter cups, and other melt-in-your-mouth treats work well.
- Make an effort to improve your oral health. Avoiding hard and chewy sweets before Halloween increases your chances of success while decreasing the likelihood of breaking your braces.