Candy serves as a source of happiness for most children. No matter what the occasion, sweet treats are sure to bring a smile to their faces. However, children with braces face a unique challenge when it comes to candy cravings. Braces come with strict directions from orthodontists regarding specific foods on the can and can’t eat list.
In general, most candies are on the “do-not-eat” list in order to make sure the braces aren’t damaged. It is important to know which candies can break brackets or bend wires, which can lead to lengthening orthodontic treatment. Fortunately, there are still safe options for those wearing braces that don’t want to compromise their orthodontic health. Here are a few tips to help those with a sweet tooth keep their braces safe:
Candies to Avoid
Chewy fruit candies like Starbursts and Skittles have the potential wreak havoc on braces. Furthermore, this type of candy has a low pH value which can wear down a tooth’s enamel, leading to tooth decay and cavities.
Eating Laffy Taffy or regular taffy may put additional force onto the bracket or band attachment, resulting in either one popping off. If not repaired immediately, a broken bracket or band has the potential to set back orthodontic treatment one to two months.
Blow Pops specifically are a definite “don’t” between the temptation of biting the hard outer shell of the lollipop and the sticky bubble gum center.
Anything that requires a hard bite or extra chewing, even for those with perfect teeth, should be avoided. Read ingredients very carefully before buying candies. A cheap bag of candy can quickly turn into thousands of dollars in visits to the orthodontist.
Candies to Choose
The American Association of Orthodontics specifically recommends melt-in-your-mouth chocolates for those with braces. This means you should gravitate toward bars that are soft and don’t have nuts or sticky caramel. Avoid eating chocolate if it comes straight out of the refrigerator, as it might be too hard to bite into with braces. Be patient and let it warm up to room temperature before consuming to be safe.
Generally, candy with nuts is not recommended for those with braces, but peanut butter cups can serve as an exception. They are safe to eat as long as the nuts in the peanut butter are crushed into very small pieces or completely blended into the candy.
Marshmallows may be chewy and soft, but they don’t have a gooey consistency, which makes them a good option for people with braces.