Even though you might want to sink your teeth into your favorite gooey, chewy candy, the definite answer is “no.” Anything that is sticky will pull off your colored ties, loosen your back braces and distort and/or damage your wire, extending your treatment time.
Dr. Olcay suggests staying away from all the sticky, gooey and hard candy, even if all your friends don’t. Breakage and repairs will delay treatment time and cause unnecessary damage to the teeth and braces. Occasional accidents may happen. In that case call the office immediately to schedule a “repair appointment”. Also, pay attention to what caused the breakage so you can avoid it next time. Hard, chewy candies, caramels, taffy, nutty goodies, jelly beans, licorice, bubble gum, suckers, and sour candies are some of the foods that can cause havoc for children who are undergoing orthodontic treatment. Sour and fruity candies, such as Starburst or Skittles, are the worst for your child’s teeth since these candies have a low pH value, which can wear down the enamel that protects them. This can cause tooth decay and cavities!
So, what are the alternatives?
Candy such as dark chocolate, or anything that contains the sugar substitute xylitol is not as harmful for your teeth as hard, chewy, or sticky sweets. Experts at the American Association of Orthodontists recommend softer treats or melt-in-your-mouth foods. These include soft chocolate, peanut butter cups, gelatin treats, ice cream and smoothies. I also encourage them to brush and floss between teeth immediately afterward, including around brackets and at the gum line. Also, limiting number of snacking is important. Each time teeth come in contact with sweets acid production starts. So, one is better off eating all at once and brushing right after instead of nibbling the same amount over a long period of time. If you’re still looking for other braces-friendly alternatives, we recommend cutting up easy-to-eat fruits and vegetables such as cut-up apples or grapes. You would also be surprised how much eating a banana or sipping on a glass of water helps you curb snack cravings!
For more information or any concerns,
call 732-847-3065 for a free consultation.