Halloween is almost here. Just in time for this spooky (and sweet) holiday, Dr. Kevin Horner and Dr. Keri Barrow, and the team at Horner Barrow Orthodontics would like to remind all our orthodontic patients to use caution when indulging in those Halloween treats. While all those sweet, sour, and sticky candies may taste great, these treats are known to damage teeth, as well as break braces, and may also delay overall orthodontic treatment time.
Hard candies, chewy or sticky candies such as taffies and caramels, nutty goodies, jelly beans, licorice, bubble gum, lollipops, and sour candies are some of the Halloween goodies that can spell trouble for trick-or-treaters who are wearing braces or orthodontic appliances. Fruity and sour candies, like Starburst or Skittles, are terrible for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which can erode the enamel that protects the teeth. This can lead to tooth decay and cavities.
So, what are the alternatives?
Dark chocolate, sugar-free gum, or anything that contains xylitol (a sugar substitute) is not as damaging to your teeth as hard, chewy, or sticky sweets. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends softer treats or melt-in-your-mouth foods, such as:
• Soft chocolates, such as Meltaways
• Peanut butter cups
• Gelatin (Jell-O) treats
• Apple cider
• Ice cream
• Root beer floats
Still looking for other braces-friendly, and healthier alternatives? We recommend cutting up easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables such as an apple, banana or celery stalk filled with peanut butter. It might surprise you how much eating a banana or sipping a glass of water can help curb those sweet snack cravings!
We know that trick-or-treating is a fun tradition, and if you’re one of those folks who just can’t say no to Halloween sweets, we encourage our patients to brush and floss their teeth immediately after eating (including around the brackets and at the gum line) as well as swish water around in your mouth.
While sugar is known to sit on the teeth and in between and under brackets and wires after food 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 sticky breaks down into sugar, and can cause tooth decay.
Remember, if you do damage your braces, please give our Sioux Falls, SD office a call as soon as possible. In most cases, small problems can be resolved with a quick trip 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.
At Horner Barrow Orthodontics, we are committed to delivering excellent quality orthodontic treatment to each and every patient. To provide a friendly, caring, and pleasant atmosphere that will ensure our patients feel relaxed and confident about placing their orthodontic care in our hands.