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Avoiding a Halloween Nightmare for Kids with Braces

Posted on October 31, 2011 | in Dentistry for Kids | by

Halloween is one of our kids’ most favorite holidays, they get to play dress up, and eat candy in quantities massive enough to make a Conehead jealous. What we often forget to realize when preaching optimal oral health, is that some kids have it tougher than others.

Sure it’s easy for parents to say, “don’t forget to brush your teeth!” But is it easy for our kids that wear braces to turn down these sugary treats, if only for one day?

Of course not, they have to deal with increased levels of candy craziness. Every other day of the year is a piece of cake for the braces wearer. Halloween on the other hand, now that’s a challenging day for our kids out there with braces standing in the way of confectionery indulgence and the tacky toothsome treats so readily available.


Best Halloween Treats for Kids with Braces

Hard candies, chewy taffy, even hard pretzels can wreck your child’s braces.

Do you want to pay for braces more than once?

Would your child prefer a longer sentence in their braces?

Here’s some trick or treating tips straight from the mouths at

 What to Avoid and What to Look For

“If it’s sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy, it’s a food that anyone wearing braces or retainers should avoid,” says Dr. Lee W. Graber, orthodontist and president of the American Association of Orthodontists.  The AAO urges patients to steer clear of the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:

– All hard candies
– All chewy candies
– Caramel
– Nuts
– Licorice
– Taffy
– Jelly beans
– Hard pretzels
– Bubblegum
– Popcorn (including unpopped kernels)
– Taco chips
– Ice

Of course, Halloween does not have to be completely treat-less.

Braces-friendly Halloween treats can help orthodontic patients enjoy the “spook-ta-cular” holiday.

For example, plain chocolate candy is okay, provided the orthodontic patient remembers to brush and floss afterwards.

Avoiding_Halloween_Nightmares_for_Kids_with_BracesBobbing for apples as well as caramel apples are not recommended for orthodontic patients…however, patients can enjoy thinly sliced apples, dipped in yogurt or creamy chocolate sauce.

Orthodontists suggest looking for foods that are soft, such as soft chocolate that can melt in one’s mouth, not in their hands…or the two great tastes that go great together; peanut butter cups.

Overall, candies that aren’t sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy are generally acceptable.

Good luck finding some!

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+Chris Barnard is Managing Editor of, a patient-centric Social Dental Network blog dedicated to enabling the digital dental health conversation - and the eradication of the cavity creeps.
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  1. […] whether we’re talking taped together pennies, candied apples, king size candy bars, or take one and leave the rest mixed treat bags, Sacramento parents need to […]

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