It’s that time of year again, the Halloween season, where kids seem to get endless amounts of candy and sweets. As parents of school-aged children, it is sometimes difficult to monitor the amounts of sugar our kids our ingesting this time of year. For parents of kids with orthodontic appliances, specifically braces, Halloween time is a little more complicated. Many sweet treats can bend wires or break brackets, potentially adding months to your child’s treatment and extra expense.
Thankfully, there are lots of safe, sweet options for kids with braces, so they can still enjoy Halloween parties and sweet treats without doing damage to their mouths.
Our team at Alameda Pediatric Dentistry has put together this Halloween Survival Guide for our orthodontic patients to help make Halloween less stressful and more fun!
1. INSPECT THEIR CANDY BAGS
Before your child heads out to trick-or-treat, urge them not to eat anything from their bag until you’ve had a chance to go through it. Remove any hard candy that might bend or break braces. You’ll also want to take out anything that has nuts, caramel, or is chewy and can stick to brackets, wires, or retainers. Some popular Halloween candies to avoid: candy corn, bubble gum, tootsie rolls, taffy, Snickers Bars, Jolly Ranchers, Nerds, and Lifesavers.
If your child has plans to attend any Halloween parties, make sure they know which candy or foods are off-limits. Popcorn, caramel corn, and candy apples are classic Halloween party treats that can wreak havoc on braces!
2. TRICK OR TREATING
It’s impossible to control what others give out on Halloween night, or what snacks are served at parties, but you can do your part by keeping a small amount of braces-friendly treats on hand in your own home or even pack a snack for them to bring!
3. AT HOME
Candy and sweet treats can cause cavities. Brushing and flossing are more important than ever during this sugar-filled season. Patients with braces should be especially mindful to brush and floss after consuming sugary foods. Drinking extra water can help rinse off any sugary debris.
4. DONATE EXTRA CANDY AT OUR HALLOWEEN CANDY BUYBACK
Between the amount of candy our kids collect and the leftovers from passing out to trick or treaters, we often end up with copious amounts of candy. As frustrating as it can be for kids to give up the candy they’ve collected, you can turn it into a positive experience by making cash for candy!
On Friday, November 1 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m Alameda Pediatric Dentistry is hosting our annual Candy Buyback, where kids can donate their unopened candy in exchange for cash. We give $1.00 per pound of candy and donate it to local shelters and troops overseas.
Doing something kind for others gives kids a good feeling and a sense of pride. When kids “fill someone’s bucket,” they, in turn, “fill” their own.
If you have questions about which candies to avoid this Halloween season, please call our office, and we’ll be happy to let you know!