Halloween candy can put you and your child in a sticky situation when it comes to their teeth and braces. It comes as no surprise that the days following Halloween are the busiest of the year for orthodontists.
There are safe alternatives to the traditional Halloween candy. Hand out stickers, temporary tattoos, pretzels or fruit roll ups. Stay away from the caramels or gummies as they get caught in braces and hard to reach areas, causing cavities from the lengthy exposure to teeth. Hard candies can cause chips or cracks in their teeth not to mention the removal of brackets from braces.
Remind your child not to eat anything that they receive until they return home and it can be checked. Anything that is not in an original wrapper should be thrown out. Be careful that candy is not shared with younger siblings – items with nuts, caramel and raisins as well as hard candy and popcorn are all choking hazards for children under the age of five.
And, it is very important to have your children brush and rinse immediately after eating any Halloween candy.
As a way to celebrate Halloween and educate us as parents. October has been named National Orthodontic Health Month. This year the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) has teamed up with celebrity chef and author Michael Chiarello to provide braces-friendly Halloween recipes. Check them out at http://www.braces.org/nohm-mom/.