What’s the Worst Candy for Your Braces?

October 6, 2017

Halloween candy scattered on a dark wood surface.
Halloween’s coming up, which means it’s the time for candy, candy, and more candy! Are you someone who goes for anything chocolate or do you prefer the sweet goodness of gummy bears and candy corn? Regardless of which kind of candy you prefer, it’s important to understand what candy you should avoid this Halloween if you have braces. You might be surprised to see some of your favorites on this list.

1. Caramel

Caramel, whether it’s caramel apples, SNICKERS® bars, or caramel squares, can wreak havoc on your braces. When caramel sticks to a bracket, there’s a high chance that you’ll remove a bracket in the process of getting the caramel unstuck. Taffy, while different than caramel, is just as bad. Laffy Taffy®, Sugar Daddies®, and other chewy and sticky candies should be avoided entirely if you have braces.
Three caramel apples covered in nuts.

2. Bubble Gum

There’s a lot of debate if sugarless gum is okay for braces. Some experts say that chewing sugar-free gum can not only keep your teeth healthier, but it can also alleviate the pain and discomfort that come from braces. However, others believe that chewing gum with braces can bend the wire and lengthen your treatment time.

All orthodontists agree that gum with sugar is a big no-go. The gum itself can get stuck on your brackets and the sugar can sneak its way into the gaps between your teeth and wire, leaving your mouth vulnerable for cavities and gum disease.

3. Hard Candy

Hard candy is fine when sucked on, but who can resist the temptation to bite into it? Candy like Jolly Ranchers®, Life Savers®, suckers, and jawbreakers are extremely hard on your braces if you bite them. What candy’s the absolute worst? Blow Pops®. Not only do you have the temptation to bite through that hard, outer shell, but bubble gum is waiting to stick to your braces afterwards.

Candy that isn’t hard but has a hard shell can also be bad for your braces. Skittles® and M&Ms® should be avoided, as the shell can get stuck under your wire and pop off your brackets.

4. Gummy Candy

Gummy candy, like gummy bears, gummy worms, and Sour Patch Kids® are deceptively hard on your braces even though they are easy to chew and less sticky than caramel. Gummy candy can get stuck in your brackets, which can eventually lead to loose or broken brackets. Much like gum, the sugar in gummy candy can get into hard-to-brush areas, putting yourself at risk for tooth decay.

A pile of gummy worms.

5. Popcorn

Popcorn is easier to chew than most of the candy on this list, but it is also one of the worst treats for someone with braces. The kernels can get stuck between your teeth and your wire, leading to major tooth decay and possibly damaged wires and brackets. If you thought getting kernels out from between your teeth without braces was hard, think about how hard it would be with brackets and wires getting in the way of your floss.

A paper bag tipped over that's filled with popcorn.

What’s the Best Candy for Your Braces?

While we’re not advocating sugar, there’s nothing wrong with indulging the sweet tooth every once in a while. However, some candy is better than others, especially when you have braces. Here are the top five best candy choices for someone with braces!

1. Simply Chocolate

Chocolate lovers rejoice! If you have braces, choose chocolate! Candy such as Hershey’s Kisses® and other plain bars of chocolate aren’t sticky, so they won’t get stuck in your braces. A word of caution: be careful eating your sweet treat if it’s frozen. Frozen chocolate is extremely hard and is more likely to break a bracket.

2. Assorted Chocolate Bars

Crunch® and Kit Kat® bars are great if you want a little bit of crunch without the risk of breaking your brackets. The experts at Dunn Orthodontics recommend staying away from the nuts in candy bars like SNICKERS® and instead going for soft chocolate bars like 3 Musketeers® or even Milky Ways® (if you’re careful). While peanut butter itself is sticky, the soft nature of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups® also makes a perfect Halloween treat for someone with traditional or ceramic braces.

3. Baked Goods

Do you love a good cookie? Then you’ll be happy to know that cookies, pastries, and other baked goods are safe to eat with braces! Some of these safe foods include:

  • Soft cookies
  • Cakes
  • Brownies
  • Doughnuts
  • Pies
  • Turnovers
  • And more!

While you have to be careful and avoid the hard cookies and peanut brittle, many baked goods are nice and soft, making them easy to eat even if you’ve just had your braces tightened.

4. Mint Patties

Looking for safe mint candies for braces? Skip the hard peppermint candies and opt for a mint patty instead. Andes Mints® and York Peppermint Patties® are both good choices. While the filling is mostly sugar, it’s not sticky which means it won’t get caught in your brackets and wires.

5. Sliced Apples

Whole apples may be off limits with braces, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat apple slices. Craving a caramel apple? Don’t bite into a whole apple. Instead, dip apple slices in caramel dip or chocolate sauce. While you shouldn’t eat caramel with braces, melted caramel or chocolate is less likely to break a bracket if it’s soft enough. Just make sure to brush your teeth after enjoying!

Apple slices with one dipped in a bowl of caramel.

While candy and sugar is not good for your teeth, it doesn’t hurt to indulge sometimes, especially during Halloween. Runnel’s Orthodontics suggest limiting yourself or your kid to one treat a day to keep both you and your kids happy!

Do you agree with our list? What candy do you think is the worst for braces? Leave us a comment on Facebook and let us know! Want to enjoy Halloween candy to the fullest while still straightening your teeth? With Invisalign, you can still eat caramel, hard candy, popcorn, and more without worrying about losing a bracket. Contact us for a free consultation to find out more!

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