Happy Halloween! The spookiest (and sweetest) day of the year is right around the corner, and since it’s also Orthodontic Health Month, it’s a good idea to reinvestigate the right way to care for your smile with braces as you start to get your costume together. The Morgan Orthodontics team is here to help guide you through the tips and tricks for keeping your smile happy and healthy while still enjoying the holiday, so keep reading to learn all about eating sweet treats with braces – what to eat, what not to eat, and how to care for your braces after candy!
Halloween Candy Do’s & Don’ts
Orthodontic treatment is a two-way street, and while Dr. Morgan and Dr. Coffelt are here to lay out your treatment plan and make adjustments, it’s your job to take care of your smile between appointments. This is especially true during the holiday season, and with the biggest candy holiday of all on the horizon, it’s time to review the trick-or-treating do’s and don’ts so you can keep your teeth happy and healthy all Orthodontic Health Month long.
Don’t Eat These Treats
Although there are plenty of favorite candies you can still eat with braces, not all treats are sweet. Here’s what to avoid in your Halloween basket.
Lots of people like to pass out popcorn or popcorn balls during Halloween, but crunchy foods can be an issue for people wearing braces. Try softer foods like mini marshmallows instead.
It can be hard to avoid things like peppermints during the Halloween season, but it’s best for your appliances to stay away from any hard candies. Biting down on these foods can put too much pressure on your brackets and wires and could cause them to bend or even break off completely.
Twizzlers are a top choice for many trick-or-treaters, but it’s a good idea to hold off on any licorice-type treats or chewy candies until you’re done with treatment. These foods are harder to chew, and they could harm your brackets and wires in the long run, which could mean longer treatment times – and no Twizzler is worth the price of your smile!
Just like chewy foods, sticky foods can grab hold of the smaller parts of your appliances and break them away while you chew. To be safe, you should avoid gum, caramel, or taffy and opt for a more braces-friendly option instead.
Treats You Bite Directly Into
Before you go bobbing for apples, you may want to take a raincheck this year. Biting directly into foods can put pressure on your brackets, which could weaken the bonding glue that holds them to your teeth or break them off entirely. Instead, break these foods into bite-sized pieces to make them more manageable.
Enjoy These Treats Instead!
It’s not all bad for your brackets! Here are some of the foods the Morgan Orthodontics team recommends for this time of year.
Peanut butter cup, anyone? Be sure to save up your caramels and taffies to trade with your siblings because smooth foods like peanut butter or mint patties are a great choice for braces-wearers.
Usually, when we think of Halloween, we think of candy. But there are lots of great baked goods that open a whole new world of options for your holiday! Instead of a Twizzler or Tootsie Roll, try a cookie or cupcake this year instead! Bonus points if it’s decorated for the season.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Most chocolates like Hershey’s Kisses or Three Musketeers are soft enough to eat with ease – just make sure to avoid any that contain nuts!
Hygiene Tips for Orthodontic Health Month
After all that candy, it’s time to think about your oral hygiene. Orthodontic Health Month is all about spreading awareness for how to care for your appliances, so here are a few tips for keeping your teeth clean even after a sugar rush.
Swish with Water
If you can’t get to a toothbrush after you’ve eaten a bucketload of Halloween candy, rinsing your mouth with water will do the trick until you can really clean your teeth. Swishing with water can help dislodge any leftover food particles and clear away the sugar residue from your teeth, keeping them shiny and clean even during Halloween.
Brush Your Teeth the Right Way
Even though you’ve been brushing your teeth since you were little, brushing with braces takes a little extra time and effort. Be sure to use fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush, and with a 45-degree angle, brush all sides of your teeth and appliance to remove any plaque or debris that could get lodged in your braces. Cleaning off all of this sugar will prevent cavities and keep your teeth healthy throughout treatment, so brush at least twice a day!
Don’t Forget to Floss
Everyone knows they should floss, but that doesn’t mean everyone does. However, when you’ve got braces, it’s super important to adopt the habit and learn to floss the right way. Dr. Morgan recommends using a floss threader to pull the floss between your teeth and around your wires. This will help you get rid of any plaque that can be hard to reach with your toothbrush alone.
Donate Candy for Cans, Save Lives
Got any leftover candy from the “don’t” list? We’re accepting we will be collecting candy, non-perishable food, paper products and toiletries/ personal hygiene products until November 21st at both Morgan Orthodontics locations for the benefit of the Loudoun Hunger Relief program! So drop off your Halloween treats or canned goods to help someone in need this holiday – your braces and your community will thank you!
Happy Trick-or-Treating from Morgan Orthodontics!
As we celebrate Halloween and Orthodontic Health Month, it’s important to remember all of these tips and tricks so you can maintain your smile and feel confident in a costume. But no matter what time of year it is, our team is here to help answer all of your orthodontic questions so you can get the most out of your treatment plan. If you’re ready to get started, schedule your free consultation at our Leesburg or Winchester office today!