braces and candy

Braces and Candy: The Effects of Halloween Treats

Braces and candy can be a lethal combination. Okay, maybe not lethal, but they definitely don’t go together well! Halloween is a fun time of year for most kids. But the effects of all that candy can do a number on your teeth. And if you are currently under orthodontic treatment, braces and candy don’t mesh well at all. The good news is that there are great ways to enjoy Halloween without indulging in the extra sweets. Here’s how!

The Effects of Sweets on Your Braces

We all have sugar cravings, but is sugar really good for you when it comes to your orthodontic treatment? The answer probably doesn’t surprise you. Braces and candy don’t really mix. For starters, there are several foods you shouldn’t eat when you have orthodontic appliances. Candy is one of them. And the best way to understand the true effects is to know how and why eating candy can complicate your orthodontic treatment.

Sugar ultimately affects the health of your teeth and gums. That’s why braces and candy don’t mix well. However you look at it, candy is bad for your teeth. Whether you have braces or not, it’s loaded with sugar. Sugar is a carbohydrate. And, carbs fuel the bacteria on your teeth causing them to produce acids that lead to decay.

For teeth without braces, candy isn’t good. Now imagine the effects when you combine braces and candy. Since brackets and bands are already covering your teeth, you need to pump up your oral hygiene routine. When you add in extra sugars, your teeth experience a greater risk of tooth decay. Even a small amount of sugar can affect your oral hygiene. Braces and candy lead to more complications because sugar and candy particles can get stuck around the brackets and on the band attachments. When you fail to reach these places during your normal oral hygiene, you run the risk of a major issue!

Braces and Candy Just Don’t Mix

Candy comes in a variety of forms. When you consider the sticky, chewy, hard candies that most kids love, you can understand why braces and candy can be a problem. Toffee, caramel, gooey chocolate bars, and hard candies are particularly damaging. Think about the effects of those type of candies when you eat them without braces. The force of chewing and breaking down hard candies is difficult. When you add braces to the mix, biting or chewing these candies puts additional force on your brackets and band attachments, in addition to the wear and tear they put on your teeth.

This is how your braces break. The extra force on your appliances can cause brackets to break off or become lose. When brackets become loose, your orthodontic treatment fails. You need to get to the orthodontist to have the problem fixed. And, if you don’t realize they are loose, you can set your treatment back.

Great Alternatives to Halloween Candy

The great news is that today there are many alternatives to the traditional Halloween candy. Since dealing with the effects of braces and candy is really not worth it, you may want to try one of these fun ideas instead. Check out some braces friendly recipes for sweet treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Then look into some of these great ideas of what to do with your Halloween candy.

You can donate it to the Troops overseas as a great way to give back to those who serve our country. Many dentists and orthodontists have candy buy back campaigns that give you a dollar or more for each pound of candy you turn in. Whatever way you want to handle Halloween, don’t get yourself too down with the fact that braces and candy aren’t the best option. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying your new smile and won’t even worry about missing out on those sticky, gooey treats!