Candy to braces is like kryptonite to Superman. They’re harmless when apart, but put them together and disaster strikes. Like it or not, you simply can’t eat candy when wearing braces, especially if it’s the hard, sticky kind. All the work under way in your mouth can be undone with one unsuspecting piece of taffy or chewing gum. So what’s an orthodontics patient to do when a sweet tooth strikes? Be smart about your sweets.

Avoiding favorites like popcorn with nuts, taffy, gummy candy, and chewy caramel is no easy task. We know this because our offices get especially busy right after Halloween, as we set to work fixing the many brackets and wires that fall victim to trick or treating. We understand and like sweets too, but braces just don’t mix with what you’ll find on this list:

  • Popcorn – Those pesky kernels have an uncanny way of wedging themselves in between your teeth and under brackets.
  • Hard pretzels – We love them too, but wires and brackets…not so much.
  • Hard candy – They don’t call them jaw breakers for nothing. Biting down or crunching on hard candies can be brutal on braces.
  • Sticky sweets – Chewing gum, taffy, caramel-coated candy should be avoided because, they stick to the wrong stuff.
  • Crunchy fruits and vegetables – While you still need your fruits and veggies while you wear braces, you need to cut them up first. Most are fine when in small pieces. Just avoid the hard and crunchy ones like raw carrots. Stick with cooking those first.

The good news is that there are plenty of sweets that you can eat while wearing braces. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Ice cream – As long as it’s not full of crunchy nuts or bubble gum, grab a spoon and enjoy.
  • Smoothies – These are oh so sweet and a great way to enjoy ice cream, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables all in one fell swoop.
  • Melt-in-your-mouth mints – For those times, when something soft simply won’t do, try some melt-in-your-mouth mints.
  • Chocolate – Don’t get too excited now, as giant candy bars with caramel and nuts don’t qualify. Instead, try a small piece of chocolate that you can slowly savor until it melts away.

Paying extra attention to dental hygiene is important while wearing braces, especially on those days when a sweet tooth strikes. Make sure you brush and floss as soon as possible after eating any sweets. This will help remove any sugar left behind and prevent cavities from forming.

If you do run into trouble, call the nearest Tenbrook Orthodontics office and make an appointment to come in. It’s best to schedule fixes quickly, before any more damage is done. When all else fails, take a look in the mirror and think about the perfect smile that’s soon to be yours. Remember, Tenbrook’s T1 and T Clear braces are designed to work fast, which means a lot less time in braces. Now that’s sweet!

For more information about braces, call 1-877-SMILE10 and make an appointment today.

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