What Candy Is OK for Braces?
Last Update: 25 Jan 2022
Halloween is almost here and that means it’s candy season! Your teen might be excited about getting dressed up and going trick or treating with their friends, but if they have braces, it should be noted that they aren’t going to be able to eat all of the candy that they collect. Even if they are just staying home and watching scary movies, they are probably going to want to eat some candy.
Here are the types of candy that are alright to eat with braces and what types of candy should definitely be avoided.
Chocolate is perfectly fine for braces. Any type of soft chocolate, from a chocolate bar to a peanut butter cup is going to be perfectly fine for your kid when they have braces. It’s important to watch out for really large or hard pieces of chocolate, however. If, for some reason, they are given a huge piece of chocolate, it could still be dangerous for your kid to pit into the piece, as it could damage their equipment. If the chocolate is frozen, it will be very hard and difficult to bite into, again, potentially damaging their teeth. Fun-sized or even normal-sized chocolate bars are great!
Most neighborhoods have someone who passes out baked goods on Halloween. Most cookies are going to be fine, especially if they are soft. If, however, someone is giving out hard cookies, especially if they are store bought, you might be looking at damage to your teen’s braces. Just as with any hard food, a hard cookie could break off a bracket or bend the wire.
Apples are only going to be okay to eat if they are cut up into small slices first. Many areas have people who give out fresh apples or caramel apples on Halloween, both of which are probably okay to eat, if you carefully cut them into slices first. Don’t let your teen bite into an apple! Despite being great for you, apples are notoriously bad for braces. They can easily break off brackets, damage brackets, and bend wires. While this does require an extra step in order to enjoy the Halloween treat, apples can be a great alternative to all of the sugar that your teen would otherwise be consuming.
4. Hard candies
Hard candies can be both okay and very bad for braces. For example, if your teen does not chew on the hard candies or bite down on them in any way, they are probably going to be perfectly safe to eat. On the other hand, if your teen is just going to suck on the candy until it is gone, then hard candies don’t have to be off limits. Of course, this can be difficult to supervise, so you have to trust that your teen understands why it is not safe for her to chew hard candies.
5. Sticky candies
With hard candies off the table, your kid might be looking towards sticky candies for their sugar fix. Sticky candies, unfortunately, are totally off-limits for braces wearers. This means no tootsie rolls, no starbursts, no jelly beans, no gummies, and definitely no caramels. Sticky candies don’t just stick to your braces and become difficult to clean off. They can actually rip the brackets off of teeth, distort wires, and hurt your teen’s tender teeth and gums. Though most of these candies are soft, which should have made them perfectly fine to eat with braces, sticky candies are the worse for braces-wearers.
6. M&Ms and Skittles
What about candies like M&Ms and Skittles? Unfortunately, the small size of these candies makes them an enemy to braces. Even if you eat just one piece at a time, the candy can get under the wire and pop off a bracket when you bite down. The issue is worsened when your teen is eating handfuls of M&Ms or Skittles at a time. This is probably a candy that should be removed from their bag.
Is there someone on your block that hands out bags of popcorn or is your teen planning on popping a few big bowls of popcorn to enjoy during their scary movie? While popcorn might seem totally innocuous (it’s light and fluffy!) there are hidden hard pieces that can get under wires and into brackets. Plus, getting all of those popcorn pieces out from between your teeth is hard enough, even when you don’t have braces on your teeth. Popcorn, especially popcorn balls, are completely off limits this Halloween.
8. Toffee or brittle
Something that starts out hard and then becomes chewy as it warms up in your mouth would obviously be bad for braces. Keep in mind that your teen’s teeth are going to be very sensitive, which is going to make eating something hard or chewy very uncomfortable.
It might be disappointing for your teen to realize that most of the candy that they love can damage their braces. Luckily, there are a few ways that they can still get their sugar fix on this list. If they do go trick or treating, encourage them to trade candy with their friends so they can make sure that they get a few pieces that they can actually eat. You might even consider making a few special treats specifically with your teen’s braces in mind, so they have something to enjoy during this spooky season. Just remember to keep the sugar to a minimum. Even candy that is technically okay for braces can still give your teen cavities!