The holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means—time for treats! With Halloween just a few days away, we’re giving you a guide on managing this candy-filled holiday while keeping your or your child’s braces intact. So, before you break out the trick-or-treat bags, let’s revisit the candies and treats to avoid with braces and get some handy tips to safely enjoy the fall holidays while keeping your treatment on track.
Avoid these treats to keep your smile safe
We love to see you, but we never want it to be for an emergency! Avoid some of these tricky treats to prevent breaking any brackets or wires and getting into a sticky situation:
- Chewy candy (Tootsie Rolls, Starburst)
- Caramels (Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies)
- Caramel or candy apples
- Candy with nuts
- Popcorn and popcorn balls
- Hard candies (Nerds, Jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers)
- Jelly beans
- Jelly candy (Swedish Fish, Dots, gummies)
- Hard, crunchy chips
These candies and treats can cause significant damage to your braces and impact your treatment, so it’s essential to skip these to keep things on track. It may seem tough, but the results are well worth the sacrifice!
The best braces-friendly candies & treats
Now that we’ve gotten the tough stuff out of the way, let’s see what you CAN enjoy while straightening your smile:
- Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter cups
- 3 Musketeers and other chocolate-only bars
- Soft cookies
- Ritz Bits mini crackers
- Cheese puffs
These are the safest treats to stick to when you have braces, but you should still be careful. Braces are strong, but paying attention to any discomfort you experience is important to avoid any damage. When you finish your treats, brush and floss your teeth to remove the sugar that causes plaque and cavities.
Carefully inspect your candy bags
The best way to avoid accidents is to inspect your candy bags before diving in. If your child is wearing braces, remind them to wait until you remove the hazards before enjoying their treats. You can make this more fun by trading the bad goodies for ones more appropriate for treatment.
Does your child have plans to attend any Halloween parties? If so, make sure they remember to avoid restricted foods outside the home, too. For example, candy apples and caramel corn are party favorites, but they can wreak havoc on braces.
You can’t control what others are giving out on Halloween night or what snacks will be served at parties, but you can keep a small amount of braces-friendly candy in your home. This gives your child a few treats they can enjoy anytime without worry. Plain chocolates and soft cookies are good choices.
Make your own tasty treats
Even if you plan to do the traditional trick-or-treating or have parties to attend, consider making your braces-friendly treats to make up for any candy you can’t eat. We’ll list a couple of ghoulishly good recipes we love below. Bonus: these are not only delicious but healthy, too!
(adapted from www.familyfreshmeals.com)
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
In a clear glass, layer pineapple, oranges, and Cool Whip. Garnish with a few pieces of candy corn. Serve immediately, or chill until ready to serve.
(recipe thanks to www.momskitchenhandbook.com)
¾ cup vanilla yogurt (avoid using Greek yogurt)
Mini chocolate chips
6 wooden popsicle sticks
- Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment or waxed paper.
- Peel the bananas and cut them in half crosswise at a slight angle. Insert a popsicle stick into the cut end of each banana and push it about halfway up.
- Put the yogurt into a small bowl. Hold onto the pops by the popsicle sticks and roll each banana in the yogurt to coat the exterior (tilting the bowl, so the yogurt pools on the side make this easier). Let excess yogurt drip into the bowl (you can run your finger along the back of the bananas to remove the excess). Lay the pops in the baking pan. (Expect to have some leftover yogurt to snack on while you wait for these to firm up!)
- Push the pointy top of 2 chocolate chips into each banana to make the eyes of the ghosts.
- Put into the freezer to firm up for at least 3 hours.
- Remove pops from the freezer and use a knife to trim away any yogurt that pooled and froze along the sides of the banana. Serve straight from the freezer.
Note: Once pops are frozen, store them in a resealable bag or covered container in the freezer.
Happy Halloween from Dietrich & Kelso Orthodontics
We love celebrating the holiday season with you and your family, but we don’t want to see you due to any avoidable emergencies! Take extra care if you or your child are wearing braces this Halloween, and keep your smiles healthy for your next office visit. Happy snacking!