As Halloween quickly approaches, saying no to your favorite candy is hard. This Orthodontic Health Month, Central Massachusetts Orthodontics reminds you that you can still eat sweet treats with your braces, given you take proper care of your appliance and teeth. Our orthodontists, Dr. Giarrusso, Dr. Livanos, and Dr. Kotin, want to share with you the appropriate ways to do so, as well as inform you of issues to be aware of and foods to avoid.
Candy’s Influence On Your Teeth
There is nothing wrong with eating sweet treats with braces, though moderation is the key to a healthy relationship with candy. Should you go overboard with sugar consumption, you could suffer from the repercussions, including acid build-up.
When a sugary residue builds up on your teeth, the natural bacteria in your mouth feed off the carbohydrates it leaves behind. This provides an ideal environment for acid growth, which feeds on your enamel and makes you sensitive to tooth decay and cavities. With some regions of your teeth challenging to clean with your toothbrush, being conscious of your sugar intake and how to clean your teeth is essential.
Sweets You Should Say “No” To
When wearing braces, being aware of what you eat is extremely important to maintaining the functionality of your appliance. Many candies can place too much pressure on your appliance and prevent it from effectively providing a great smile.
Some sweets our orthodontists recommend you avoid are sticky candies such as caramel, jelly beans, gum, and Laffy Taffy. Hard-to-the-bite sweets to avoid are lollipops, cookies, Jolly Ranchers, and Life Savers. Finally, crunchy candies to steer clear of are popcorn, crackers, sugared nuts, and candy apples.
Any desserts that resemble those above are best to stay away from for the time being, but don’t worry! You will be back to enjoying them before you know it. Knowing which goodies are off the table for consumption can save you from an orthodontic emergency later and allow your treatment to go according to schedule.
Caring For Your Smile After Candy
Drinking Plenty of Water
Water is quite powerful when it comes to maintaining your teeth. Regularly drinking it can keep your teeth safe from plaque buildup and stains naturally. If you are not able to easily brush and floss after a meal, it is still helpful to simply rinse your teeth with a swig of water to flush through anything lingering. In keeping hydrated, your mouth is also able to stay moistened and create an incompatible environment for bacteria growth.
Properly Brushing Your Teeth
Continuing to brush your teeth each day is one of many steps you can take to care for your smile. When wearing braces, you need to clean not only your teeth but each part of your appliance as well.
Place an ample amount of fluoride toothpaste on your soft-bristled toothbrush and brush in a circular motion at 45 degrees. Begin at the gum line, and taking the time to reach every necessary area will help ensure the health of your teeth. Braces can be particularly rough on your toothbrush, so be sure to replace it once you notice the bristles show signs of wear.
Properly polishing your teeth can reduce the amount of acid and plaque buildup, thus protecting them from further, more severe troubles.
If a small piece gets stuck in your gums or an odd spot between your teeth, flossing as soon as possible will help them stay pristine. Floss sticks cannot reach all the way down your teeth with braces due to the wires, so our office provides special threaders so you can easily get between your teeth without issue.
Sweets You Can Say “Yes” To
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, Central Massachusetts Orthodontics recommends eating chewy and soft foods that do not require a hard bite.
Great options to explore include non-chocolates such as marshmallows and wafers. Approved chocolate sweets include peanut butter cups, Hershey’s Kisses, and Kit Kats. You may also enjoy other non-candy sweets like chewy cookies, smoothies, ice cream without nuts, donuts, and milkshakes.
Whether some of these options are your favorite or not your top choice, braces are a great time to explore new foods and maybe even discover something you didn’t expect to like. If you are curious about whether a specific food or sweet is cleared to eat, our team will happily answer which foods are appropriate when wearing braces at your next appointment.
Begin Your Braces Treatment Today!
Passing up aisles of sweets you love with your braces can be tricky, but Central Massachusetts Orthodontics is here to remind you that staying strong is worth the payoff. Staying on track with your treatment and taking proper care of your future smile takes a lot of dedication, and changing some of the foods you eat is a small price to pay. Our team is available by appointment at our Worcester, Auburn, and Spencer office locations, but we will be happy to answer any questions you have over the phone. Schedule your appointment today and explore the wonders we can do for your teeth!