Don’t Play Tricks on Your Teeth this Halloween

By October 28, 2012Orthodontics

It’s estimated that people spent $2.3 billion on Halloween candy last year. Don’t play tricks on your teeth – Halloween is here. Halloween is one of our kids’ (big kids included) most favorite holidays, they get to play dress up, and typically eat candy in massive quantities.

There is an increased level of candy craziness since confectionary indulgences and tacky toothsome treats are so readily available. Sugar is bad for your teeth because it creates an environment conducive for cavity- and bad breath-causing bacteria that lead to tooth erosion and cavities. So let’s face it Halloween can be a challenging day for our kids out there with braces.

Did you know sour candies can be acidic to your teeth, and actually wear down the enamel that protects them? This can cause tooth decay and cavities! Sour and fruity candy, such as Starburst and Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which is known to ruin enamel. In addition, we also want your child to steer clear of sticky, chewy, gummy and nutty goodies. Here’s the biggest takeaway from this blog post, if it’s sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy, it’s a food that anyone wearing braces or retainers should avoid. Of course, Halloween does not have to be completely treat-less.

To protect your braces, avoid the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

• All hard candies

• All chewy candies

• Caramel

• Nuts

• Licorice

• Taffy

• Jelly beans

• Hard pretzels

• Bubble gum

• Popcorn (including unpopped kernels)

• Ice

Enjoy Halloween candy carefully and in moderation so there is no damage to braces or wind up with cavities. Braces-friendly Halloween treats can help orthodontic patients enjoy the “spook-ta-cular” holiday. For example, plain chocolate candy is a good choice, provided the orthodontic patient remembers to brush and floss afterwards. Overall, make sure good dental habits are being practiced. Anyone, regardless of whether they have braces or not, should brush and floss as soon as possible after getting a belly-full of sweets. It’s all the more important when someone has a mouth full of orthodontia.

Also, get creative. Make homemade smoothies or milkshakes with a festive twist for teens with braces. This year, consider supplying your Halloween party with homemade treats such as delicious reduced sugar cream pies and parfaits with fresh fruits and whipped cream.

Another major point to remember don’t indulge in Halloween treats all throughout the day. Limit sugar intake to one time of day, rather than consuming small pieces throughout the day, can reduce the teeth’s exposure to detrimental sugars.

We weren’t sure if this activity still happens, but bobbing for apples is a no go for any braces wearer. As well as caramel apples are not recommended for orthodontic patients; however, patients can enjoy thinly sliced apples, dipped in yogurt or creamy chocolate sauce.

Our team knows hard it is to avoid all Halloween treats, so we encourage you to enjoy braces- friendly alternatives rather than feel that you are missing out on all the fun. Dr. Sharma recommends that a few sweets can be okay occasionally. Everyone really wants to have fun on this holiday, and we encourage patients to enjoy treats that are acceptable, rather than feel that they are missing out. It’s important to remember that when patients’ orthodontic treatment is complete, and they see their new smiles in the mirror, they will know all of their efforts now were worthwhile.

Here’s a few more trick-or-treating safety guidelines for all our Aura Orthodontics ghosts and goblins.

• Young children should always be accompanied by an adult

• Carry a flashlight

• Wear a light-coloured or reflective costume

• Choose face paint over masks for young ghosts and goblins

• Have an adult inspect all treats before the children dig in

On behalf of the Aura Orthodontics team – have a safe and spook-tacular Halloween!

 

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