5 Ways to Protect Your Braces, Aligners During Halloween

Posted on October 8, 2015

ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwired - October 06, 2015) - For most children, October means one thing: Halloween candy. For orthodontists, it's a month for embracing a beautiful, healthy smile in honor of National Orthodontic Health Month.

Orthodontic-friendly recipes include Mummy Pizza Biscuits shown here

After all, we all know that Halloween treats tend to play tricks on patients.

That's why the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) offers these five timely tips to protect braces, aligners and other orthodontic "appliances" while protecting teeth from decay.

  1. Avoid sticky situations with your braces and aligners. Stay away from hard, sticky, crunchy or chewy candy and snacks. These include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubblegum (even the sugarless kind), jelly beans and soft drinks.

  2. Say "boo" to hard treats - including hard-shelled peanut candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn (especially unpopped kernels). Whether in orthodontic treatment or not, no one should ever chew ice.

  3. Brush up! Sweets can cause cavities, which means brushing and flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing after consuming sugary or starchy foods.

  4. Spooktacular news: Not all Halloween candy is off-limits. Good alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties. The AAO even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween on its website at http://www.mylifemysmile.org/recipes.

  5. Make a commitment to oral health. Deciding to avoid hard and chewy sweetsbefore the Halloween season increases your rate of success -- and reduces the likelihood that you'll break braces.

"It's okay for orthodontic patients to enjoy some treats at Halloween," says Morris N. Poole, DDS, president of the AAO. "We want everyone to have fun on Halloween. At the same time, we encourage patients to enjoy acceptable treats in moderation, and take that extra couple of minutes to brush and floss. When orthodontic treatment is complete, and patients see their healthy and beautiful new smiles in the mirror, they will know all of their efforts were worthwhile."

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