Booth Orthodontics is celebrating Orthodontic Health Month this October! Eating sweet treats with braces is an entirely safe thing to do, but everything comes in moderation. To commemorate the importance of this month, Dr. Booth and our team are here to help prepare our braces wearers for Halloween and educate you on keeping your appliance safe this season.
Candies Harmful To Braces
Wearing braces comes with the responsibility of actively avoiding foods that can cause harm to your appliance. Especially when it comes to candies, knowing which are off the table for consumption can save you from an orthodontic emergency later. Below are some common sweets you should steer clear of after coming back from trick-or-treating:
- Jelly Beans
- Candy Apples
- Laffy Taffy
- Sour Patch Kids
Pieces of food may tangle themselves up in your appliance and interfere with treatment. When you bite into a crunchy, sticky, or hard candy, additional force is placed on your braces that they are not built for, causing a broken bracket or wire, which can be a nasty trick on Halloween!
The Impact of Sweet Treats On Your Teeth
Everybody loves a sweet treat every now and then. As tempting as indulging often is, snacking in moderation and being mindful of the amount of sugar you eat is equally important. The natural bacteria in your mouth feed off sugar, resulting in an excessive build-up of acid when too much is consumed at once. This acid can do a number on the health of your teeth, including breaking down your protective enamel leaving them exposed to tooth decay and cavities.
Too much sugar without braces is already risky, but you must be even more attentive in caring for your teeth when wearing braces. Especially during orthodontic treatment, we would hate to remove your appliance to reveal damage to your teeth from poor eating habits.
Just because you wear braces does not mean you can’t enjoy some delicious sweets in moderation! You can still enjoy plenty of other food options. Booth Orthodontics recommends sticking to soft, chewy desserts you can easily consume without too much effort. Below are some common candies you can rely on to satisfy your cravings:
- Ice Cream
- Chocolate (without nuts)
- Chewy Cookies
- Kit Kats
- Peanut Butter Cups
- Hershey Kisses
If you are curious about a specific food or sweet, Dr. Booth will be happy to answer which foods are appropriate when wearing braces. Taking good care of your teeth allows you to enjoy celebrations like Halloween and savor the sweets you’ve collected!
Be Wary Of Emergencies Caused By Candy
As mentioned, candies and other sweets can cause orthodontic emergencies, which will help you avoid as best as possible. Tooth decay, cavities, and a broken wire or bracket are all potential issues resulting from too much sugar or biting into the wrong candy. The stickiness or hardness of certain foods puts your appliance at risk, while the carbohydrates within the food leave your teeth susceptible to damage.
Be on the lookout for signs your teeth are trying to tell you something is wrong, such as toothaches, holes in or between your teeth, developing small white dots that don’t seem to go away with regular brushing, and temperature sensitivity. The earlier we are able to diagnose an issue, the earlier our team will be able to help you with a more straightforward treatment.
Oral Hygiene Practices With Sweets
How To Brush Your Teeth
You know how to properly brush your teeth without braces, but having your appliance present introduces new techniques to maintain your oral hygiene. Dr. Booth recommends you use a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste while brushing your teeth at a 45-degree angle at the gum line. You want to make sure you polish each surface of your teeth and gently clean your appliance without too much pressure placed on it.
Cleaning off any sugary residue will help reduce acid buildup and protect your teeth from breaking down. Putting in this extra time and effort to brush and floss allows your braces to function flawlessly and may even speed up treatment time.
Importance of Flossing
Flossing during treatment is essential to keeping your teeth in excellent condition and protected from emergencies. 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 are able to clean even the hard-to-reach areas without strain.
When you cannot floss or brush your teeth immediately after eating, keeping up with water intake can help naturally remove plaque from your teeth. Your mouth is able to stay moistened and create an incompatible environment for bacteria growth. Water can also wash away any tiny food particles left behind after a meal.
Everything in Moderation
The most essential thing to remember is to enjoy in moderation. We want all of our patients to enjoy this Halloween season without ending it with a cavity or other difficulty. If you have second thoughts about whether too much candy is too much or if a particular sweet is safe for eating, we say better safe than sorry. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if something comes up!
Celebrate Your Braces This Fall!
Our team is here to ensure your braces experience goes as smoothly as possible. If you encounter any complications or have questions about your braces journey related to sweets or otherwise, Booth Orthodontics will do everything we can to help you. Our Homer Glen office is just a call away at 708-301-0005. This Orthodontic Health Month, we are dedicated to ensuring you are educated on and ready to tackle anything that comes your way!