Halloween need not be a scary time for teeth and those undergoing orthodontic treatment! We at Pinecrest Orthodontics, in conjunction with the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO), want to keep your smile bright, especially during the holidays when “sticky” temptations are heightened.
October is National Orthodontic Health Month, celebrated by orthodontists throughout North America. Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education beyond dental school to learn the proper way to align and straighten teeth. Only those with this education may call themselves “orthodontists” and only orthodontists may be members of the AAO.
Halloween falls during National Orthodontic Health Month and so we want to share some helpful tips to help keep teeth safe from decay and protect orthodontic appliances during the Halloween season:
- Avoid those treats that can play tricks on your braces, such as anything sticky, chewy, hard, or crunchy. Examples of such treats to say “boo” to are caramel, taffy, candy corn, gummies, licorice, bubblegum, hard nuts and popcorn.
- Enjoy orthodontic-friendly treats that are soft and easy to chew, for example soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other melt-in-your-mouth varieties.
- Other braces-safe sweet alternatives at Halloween time (or any time of the year) include ice cream, milkshakes, Jell-O and soft fruits.
- If you do indulge in sweets, do so in moderation. Parents may want to limit the time during which children can eat Halloween candy, whether they are in orthodontic treatment or not.
- It is also important to be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing during any holiday celebration when you’ll be eating more cavity-causing treats than usual.
While we normally encourage kids to unload their Halloween candy with our annual candy buy-back event to support Operation Gratitude, we will not be holding it this year due to concerns with COVID-19. However, in lieu of candy we will make a monetary donation to support our US troops overseas.
Our team at Pinecrest Orthodontics encourages everyone to have a healthy, safe, and enjoyable Halloween season!