As an orthodontist, Dr. Senestraro understands the importance Halloween has to many of our younger patients. While a holiday that revolves around kids eating candy may seem like a dentist’s worst nightmare, Dr. Senestraro encourages kids to enjoy Halloween, but to do so safely and in a way that won’t put their braces in harm’s way.At our orthodontist office, we often see kids with bent wires and broken brackets shortly after Halloween. Often, the damage caused to braces is the result of kids eating the wrong types of candies.So that your child can avoid any orthodontic problems following the end of Halloween, here are the five types of candies kids should avoid.
Sticky/chewy candies can become easily stuck in-between the brackets and wires of a patient’s braces.When kids eat candies like Tootsie Rolls, Skittles, or Starburst, they stick to and pull at the wires of a child’s braces. This can lead to wires bending and even breaking.Sticky candies can also become stuck in the hard to clean spaces behind the brackets of a child’s braces. If not properly removed, the deposits can become a breeding ground for harmful oral bacteria that can lead to the development of cavities and even contribute to gum disease.
Whether a soft caramel like what’s at the center of a Snickers or Mars bar or the harder caramels found in Heath or Butterfinger bars, both can negatively affect a child’s braces.Just as with sticky candies, caramels can pull and bend the delicate wires of a patient’s braces.The high sugar content of these types of candies also contribute to the development of tooth decay when allowed to remain stuck under brackets.The one type of candied treat a child should absolutely not eat are candied apples. Biting into this hard to eat treat can not only bend wires, it can break brackets and require an immediate trip to see Dr. Senestraro at our Sherwood orthodontist office.
Parents should make sure that kids avoid all types of hard candies this Halloween. Jolly ranchers, Jawbreakers, butterscotch candies, and anything else you might find in grandma’s candy dish should be avoided.Even if a child doesn’t bite into one of these candies, simply letting the candy rattle around in the mouth until fully dissolved can cause problems.Sucking on hard candies can also damage brackets and ding wires to the point where repairs will be needed, even if nothing breaks
Another Halloween favorite that finds itself on the do not eat list is licorice.Just as with other types of sticky candies, licorice can both become stuck in hard to clean areas of a child’s braces, while also damaging wires that are pulled into the wrong direction.The dark color of licorice can even stain the brackets and wires of a child’s braces, creating the appearance of a dingy, unattractive smile.
Candies That Contain Nuts
It can seem like every type of candy bar contains nuts, especially to a child excited by the promise of eating their hard won candy. Unfortunately, this means favorites like Payday, Babe Ruth, Almond Joy, Snickers, and NutRageous bars are all off the list.
What a Child Can Enjoy
While this list may seem like it excludes kids from eating every type of candy, there are plenty of safe options still available.Pure chocolate bars, peanut butter cups, mint patties, and Kit Kats make the okay to eat list.Of course, hearing they can’t eat some types of the candy they’ve worked hard to collect can ruin the holiday enjoyment for some kids. Fortunately, you can make the pain of losing some of their candy a little easier by encouraging your kids to exchange with other kids the candy they can’t enjoy for the kinds they can.Halloween is a holiday every child should feel free to enjoy. By helping your child make smart decision about the types of candies to enjoy and which to avoid, you ensure the holiday remains one of the most special times of the year.