Protect Your Braces During Halloween
With Halloween around the corner, those treats can end up being a tricky proposition on patients and their appliances. Which is why orthodontist Dr. Jolley of Jolleytime Orthodontics offers the community five important tips to protect braces, aligners and other orthodontic “appliances” in addition to protecting teeth from decay.
Here are Dr. Jolley’s five tips for parents, teens and children to help them protect their teeth and orthodontic appliances:
- Avoid the sticky candies: To protect your braces and aligners, Dr. Jolley recommends staying away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks, which include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even the sugarless kind, jelly beans and soft drinks.
- Say “boo” to hard treats: including hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels). And whether in orthodontic treatment or not, Dr. Jolley cautions to at all costs avoid chewing on ice.
- Remember to brush up!: Sweets can lead to cavities, which means brushing and flossing daily are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
- Not all Halloween candy is off-limits: Some alternatives this season include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties. Recommendations for orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween are available from The American Association of Orthodontists at their website http://mylifemysmile.org/pressroom.
- Commit to maintaining oral health: You’ll increase your success rate if you’re able to commit to avoiding harding and chewy treats BEFORE the Halloween season, and in doing so, reduces the chance that you’ll break something on your braces.
“I don’t want to rule out any treats for orthodontic patients during this Halloween season,” says Dr. Jolley. “I definitely want people to enjoy themselves on Halloween, but at the same time, we encourage everyone especially orthodontic patients, to enjoy acceptable treats in moderation, and take the few minutes daily to brush and floss their teeth. Once patients get to the end of their orthodontic treatment and see their bright, new beautiful smiles, they’ll know all their extra efforts were worth it!”