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Parents: Avoid This Halloween Nightmare For Your Kids

Posted on October 24, 2010 | in Dentistry for Kids | by

Braces beware!

Hard candies, and chewy taffy 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. Bobbing 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 or peanut butter cups. Overall, candies that aren’t sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy are generally acceptable.

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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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