The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) offers these tips to keep teeth safe from decay, and protect braces, clear aligners
and other orthodontic “appliances” during the Halloween season:
- Avoid sticky situations if you have braces. Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks. These include hard or chewy candies, caramel, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even the sugarless kind) and jelly beans. Also steer away from nuts, taco chips and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels).
- Good alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your mouth varieties.
- If you consume sweets, do so in moderation. Avoid the temptation to grab another handful from the bowl filled with treats. Parents may want to limit the time during which children can eat from the Halloween candy bowl, whether they are in orthodontic treatment or not.
- Brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season, when teeth may receive more exposure to sweets that can cause cavities. Orthodontic patients should be especially conscientious about brushing and flossing after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
America. Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this education may call themselves “orthodontists” and only orthodontists may be members of the AAO.
For more information about orthodontics or orthodontists, visit the AAO’s websites, MyLifeMySmile.org and AAOinfo.org.