Halloween tends to be one of the busiest times of the year at an orthodontist’s office, primarily because patients indulge in treats that they should not be eating. Those of us at DiCiccio Orthodontics want you to remember that candies and other treats that are hard, chewy, sticky or crunchy can cause damage to braces, clear aligners and other orthodontic appliances. In addition to discomfort, a broken bracket or loose wire may prolong treatment and require additional orthodontic appointments. As part of National Orthodontic Health Month, the AAO is providing orthodontic-friendly Halloween recipes and tips to help patients and their families enjoy the holiday.
The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has teamed up with Pam Waterman, author of The Braces Cookbook, to bring orthodontic-friendly recipes and treats to trick-or-treaters and their parents. It’s no trick – these recipes are fun to make, fun to eat, and they won’t put a dent in the smiles of the nearly five million orthodontic patients currently in North America who wear braces, clear aligners or other orthodontic appliances to help them achieve a healthy, beautiful smile.
We suggest that you brush as soon as possible after eating candy, minimizing the impact of the candy on the teeth. If brushing is not possible, the second best thing is to either consume the candy with a meal (so that the increased saliva produced while eating will help wash the candy off the teeth) or rinse the mouth with water. In addition, you can chew sugarless gum, especially xylitol gums that help control tooth decay-causing bacteria. It is also better to eat the candy in one sitting to decrease the amount of time it is in contact with the teeth.
We want our patients to have fun while in orthodontic treatment. Cooperation is always key, and exercising caution at Halloween could keep you on the right track to great results!
~Dr. DiCiccio and Team