Trick-or-treat! In the spirit of the sweet and spooky holiday, Drs. Saul Burk and Wanda Flinn, and our team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics would like to remind all our patients to be careful when they bite into their treats this month! All those sweet, sour, and sticky candies may taste great, but these treats are known to damage teeth, as well as break braces, as well as delay precious treatment time!
Hard candies, chewy candies, caramels, taffy, nutty goodies, jelly beans, licorice, bubble gum, suckers, and sour candies are some of the foods that can cause havoc for trick-or-treaters who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Sour and fruity candies, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which can wear down the enamel that protects them. This can cause tooth decay and cavities!
So, what are the alternatives?
Candy such as dark chocolate, sugar-free gum, or anything that contains the sugar substitute xylitol is not as harmful for your teeth as hard, chewy, or sticky sweets. Experts at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend softer treats or melt-in-your-mouth foods. These include:
- Soft chocolate
- Peanut butter cups
- Gelatin treats
- Ice cream
- Root beer floats
- Apple cider
If you’re still looking for other braces-friendly alternatives, we recommend cutting up easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables such as an apple or banana. You would also be surprised how much eating a banana or sipping on a glass of water helps you curb snack cravings!
We understand trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition, and if you’re one of those folks who just can’t stay away from Halloween sweets, we encourage you to brush and floss between teeth immediately afterward, including around brackets and at the gum line, as well as swish water in your mouth.
While sugar is known to sit in your child’s teeth and in between and under brackets and wires after consumption, it is important to know that sugar is not the only cavity-causing culprit. Carbohydrates, starches, acids, and any food that is chewy or sticks break down into sugar, and can promote tooth decay.
If you happen to damage your braces, please give our team at Burk & Flinn Orthodontics a call as soon as possible at our convenient Rockville or Olney, MD offices. Typically, small problems can be solved with a quick visit to our office. If you have any questions about sugary foods or drinks, please give us a call or ask us during your next adjustment visit!