While traditional metal braces might be the perfect fit for your Ugly Betty or Katy Perry Halloween costume, they might do you fewer favors when it comes to enjoying Halloween treats. This October, learn more about how to keep all those fun-sized Three Musketeers bars from putting your orthodontics at risk, and what orthodontic choices will leave you free to enjoy a Twizzler or two.
Braces and Candy: Traditionally a Bad Match
These days, getting braces doesn’t necessarily mean having metal brackets and wires in your mouth. But for those who have chosen to go the traditional route with their orthodontics, candy is at the top of the “do not eat” list. From sticky caramel that can get stuck in brackets and even pull brackets away from teeth, to hard treats like popcorn and peanut brittle that can damage braces, there are plenty of candies that pose a risk to traditional braces.
But it isn’t just the braces that suffer when candy comes into the equation: The sugar overload that can accompany Halloween, whether that’s your kid’s trick-or-treating haul or your own office indulgence, puts your teeth at increased risk of decay.
Here’s how it works: There are bacteria in your mouth that want to attack your teeth, creating acid to weaken the enamel and then taking hold with a bacterial infection, causing cavities. Those bacteria happen to love sugar, which means that when you’re feeding your sweet tooth, you’re also feeding those bacteria. So even if you can find candies that don’t violate the rules of your braces, you should still be extra wary of consuming too much sugar, and make sure to practice extra good oral hygiene on days when you eat an unusually high amount of sugar.
You can also try and come up with your own seasonal treats that don’t put your teeth at risk! (Kale chips are tasty, right? They’re totally a substitute for candy . . .)
Braces Don’t Have to Limit Your Diet
Of course, gone are the days where getting your teeth straightened meant years of getting called “metal mouth” or “brace face”! Nowadays, braces don’t have to interrupt your daily life at all — including your diet.
Invisalign clear aligners are so subtle as to be practically invisible when worn (thus the name.) But even more exciting is the fact that when you walk out of the dentist’s office with your Invisalign braces, you won’t be walking out with a long, printed list of all the foods you won’t be able to eat for the next two to three years. Instead, Invisalign should be removed before eating, which enables you to keep your diet the same (and enjoy some Halloween candy if you want to!)
Of course, the sugar content in Halloween candy is still no joke. But stay on top of your oral hygiene in October, and you can enjoy a few sweet treats on your journey to straighter teeth.