Our dedicated team of orthodontists, Dr. Togias, Dr. Nicolay, Dr. Moskowitz, Dr. Praedikow, and Dr. Karam, are devoted to educating our patients, so they feel prepared to take on their braces treatment and other appliances outside of our office. With Halloween around the corner and Orthodontic Health Month already here, we are here to share with you the impact of eating sweet treats while wearing braces. Celebrate this exciting month of education and healthy smiles with us, and learn more about your appliance!
Adjusting To Braces Takes Time!
When your braces first get placed, it may take some time to get used to them and make the necessary adjustments in your life to accommodate them. Some of the foods you enjoy eating may need to change so as not to damage your appliance or weaken it in any way. Food restrictions may seem like an obstacle initially, but we encourage you to embrace these changes and use this opportunity to expand your taste buds. Try new foods you would otherwise pass up!
Specifically, while eating candies with braces, you must keep track of your intake and know when too much is too much to avoid orthodontic troubles later on. Our team is here to help you with this adjustment and provide support when needed.
What Happens When Your Smile Isn’t Protected?
Always remember moderation is key to forming a healthy relationship between your braces, teeth, and candy. If not practiced, the dangerous side of sweets can take over and quickly get the better of your teeth. For example, after eating an entire container of soft cookies, sugar leaves remnants behind on your teeth in the form of carbohydrates.
The natural bacteria in your mouth feed off of this and, in turn, create an ideal environment for acid buildup on your teeth. Especially frightening with unbrushed teeth, continued exposure puts your teeth at risk as bacteria are allowed to damage and rot your teeth enamel, which is supposed to do the job of protecting your teeth from cavities and tooth decay.
Your Candy Selections With Braces: What To Eat and What To Avoid
Unfriendly Treats to Avoid
Some sweets our orthodontists recommend you avoid are sticky candies such as caramel, jelly beans, gum, and Laffy Taffy. Stay away from hard-to-the-bite sweets like lollipops, cookies, Jolly Ranchers, and Life Savers. Finally, crunchy candies to steer clear of are popcorn, hard crackers, sugared nuts, and candy apples.
If you eat any of the above snacks, they could get caught up in your wires or brackets and cause harm to your appliance. As strong as your braces are, they are not built to withstand the additional force of these foods.
There are still plenty of sweet treats to satisfy your cravings this season! To keep your appliance in perfect shape and allow for simple maintenance, Manhattan Family Orthodontics recommends eating chewy and soft foods that do not require too much effort to consume.
Non-chocolate sweets such as wafers and marshmallows are a great option in addition to chocolate treats like peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, and Kit Kats. If you are looking to enjoy some untraditional Halloween sweets this season, you can enjoy ice cream and soft cookies (without nuts), smoothies, milkshakes, and even donuts.
The list goes on! We promise you won’t run out of sweets safe for your braces.
Ask Us About Your Favorite Food!
If your favorite Halloween snack or Fall dessert is not listed above, and you are unsure if it is safe to consume with your new braces, don’t hesitate to ask anyone on our knowledgeable team. They will be able to answer your questions and can provide a more general list of foods you can and can’t eat.
Prioritizing Your Regular Checkups and Oral Hygiene
When you begin braces treatment, making a point to go to your scheduled appointments to keep track of your progress is crucial. These visits are how we are able to ensure your teeth are shifting in the correct direction but also how we keep an eye out for emergencies and issues such as cavities and tooth decay. Our orthodontists have the training to spot early signs you may not associate with complications. They may also be able to see something out of your periphery in the mirror and prevent a potentially more significant problem from occurring later.
What You Can Do At Home
Brushing and Flossing Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth twice daily is one of many steps you can take to care for your smile. When wearing braces, remember to clean not only your teeth but each part of your appliance as well. Properly doing so allows both to continue functioning as needed. Braces can be particularly rough on your toothbrush, so be sure to replace it once you notice the bristles are showing signs of wear.
You want to dislodge any small piece of food left behind with a string of floss through your teeth so it can get under your wires. Our office can provide special threaders so you can easily clean even the hard-to-reach areas at home.
Drinking Plenty of Water
If you are unable to brush or floss your teeth after a meal, maintaining your water intake can help naturally rid of plaque and keep your breath fresh. Your mouth is also able to stay moistened and create a poor environment for bacteria growth. Water can wash away any small food particles left in hard-to-reach corners after sweets.
Have Fun and Protect Your Teeth This Halloween!
Thanks for celebrating Orthodontic Health Month with us! It is our privilege to serve the Uptown and Downtown Manhattan community and be here for the orthodontic needs of everyone in your family. Don’t hesitate to contact either of our Manhattan Family Orthodontics locations to schedule your free consultation and get an expert orthodontic opinion on your teeth today.