It’s always the question as we roll into the holiday season. “Can I Still Eat Candy with Braces?” The answer is yes, but there are some specific types of candy to avoid (of course), some that are better for you, and an increased emphasis on oral hygiene.
‘Tis the Season
From Halloween through Christmas we are bombarded with sweets and candy. Trick or treating through the neighborhood might net you a few tidbits or an entire pillowcase full of sweet treats. There will be some things you can keep and eat, and many things you should avoid. You already have a list, but here is a refresher of things you should stay away from:
- Chewy candies like caramels, taffy, gum, and Tootsie Rolls
- Hard candies such as suckers, jawbreakers, and sour balls
- Sticky candy like jelly beans, licorice, Mike-N-Ike, and Hot Tamales
Other things you should be avoiding are popcorn and nuts. The general rule to adhere to is if something may stick to or damage your braces it should be avoided. So, throughout the holiday season, just be careful about what you eat, but there is a lot of safe candy you can eat with braces.
Getting the Most Out of Trick or Treat Candy
If collecting candy on Halloween is one of your favorite activities, you don’t have to skip it. Likely you will receive many items that are not safe to eat with braces. There are many different ways to deal with that “problem” to keep your braces safe:
- Have candy trading parties with friends
- Donate the items you can’t eat to homeless shelters or other charity
- Give the items you can’t have to a younger sibling
- Save it until you get your braces off (although it may be stale)
When asked, many children and young teens stated that they enjoyed the art of the pursuit on Halloween rather than the gobs of candy. What that means is that many kids liked dressing up and going door to door, but weren’t concerned much about the loot. If that is you — congratulations and donate that candy to a charity.
If you enjoy the candy (we all like some candy on occasion), get your friends together and trade them for candy that is safe for you. You might be surprised how generous and willing to trade your friends are once you explain why you need all their chocolate.
Grandma Always Has a Bowl of Ribbon Candy
Does your grandma or aunt always seem to have a bowl of ribbon candy out during the holiday season? Or maybe a bowl of Candy Corn? The tradition of displaying seasonal candies varies from family to family, but we all have that one relative that always has candy out.
Many times you shouldn’t indulge because the most common type of candies is usually the hard, crunchy kinds. Ribbon candy in small pieces is OK if you can suck on it rather than chew and crunch through it. Not many people have that kind of personal discipline. It is usually easier to skip the temptation.
Candy Corn presents a Schrödinger dilemma. Is it hard or is it soft? Like the cat in the box, you don’t know about Candy Corn until you take a piece. Some are soft and will melt in your mouth, while others could be used to build an addition to the house.
Moving on to Christmas…
With Christmas right around the corner, there are dreams of marshmallow-stuffed Santa chocolates and candy canes. Everyone will have a candy bowl filled with hard candies. The little strawberry-wrapped candies with the liquid centers? Or are they raspberry? Whatever flavor they are, you know you will see them on tables in almost every house.
As Yule trees go up, they will have candy canes hung on the branches to tempt you. With candy canes, if you suck on them, they can be braces-friendly candy. If you are a biter or a chewer of these sweet peppermint treats, please avoid them while you have your braces.
Snacks such as cakes and cookies are everywhere. Many are safe to eat with braces, but please avoid anything with nuts, almonds, and other hard bits.
Christmas stockings will contain an ample supply of different candies. If you know who fills your stocking, you can remind them that you should only have certain types of candy. Trading with brothers and sisters is always an option, but they won’t want to give up all their chocolate Santa treats!
Staying Healthy from Halloween to Christmas and Beyond
When it comes to candy of any kind, how you eat it can make a difference. For example, those people who can suck on a hard candy until it is completely dissolved are safe with suckers, candy drops, and candy canes. People who bite into hard candies should avoid them while wearing braces.
With that in mind, this list of “safe” candy to eat with braces doesn’t include chewy, hard, or crunchy items. You will have to make a responsible decision on the risk of damaging your braces based on how you consume those treats.
Candy that is safe to eat with braces includes:
- Chocolate bars without caramel or nuts
- Peanut butter cups
- KitKat Bars
- 3 Musketeers and other nougat-filled candies
- Marshmallows (yay! You can eat the marshmallow-filled Santas)
- Soft cookies
A final reminder about oral hygiene and candy. Your braces have lots of little nooks and crannies where decay-causing particles can accumulate. It is especially important to continue to be diligent with brushing and flossing during the holiday seasons.
To prevent cavities, gum disease, or permanent staining of your teeth, please brush thoroughly around your braces when eating sugary snacks.
Still Not Sure If You Can Eat That Candy with Braces?
If you have any questions about safe candy with braces, please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly staff at Goldkind Family Ortho. We can guide you through making good choices.
If you have problems such as a dislodged bracket or broken wire, please contact Goldkind Family Ortho as soon as possible. Normally, staff can assist you in stabilizing an emergency temporarily.
Have a GREAT holiday season!