Summer is behind us, and everyone is looking forward to the excitement of the upcoming holidays this fall and winter – especially kids! But kids who’ve recently begun visiting their favorite Port Orange orthodontist often have questions about the holidays. They know certain foods are off limits with braces – but does that mean no holiday fun? Of course not!
Dr. Beauchamp loves the holidays just as much as your family, and we would never want you or the little ones to miss out on the celebration. If you drop by our office during the holiday season, you’re bound to find we’ve done a little decorating. We often have games, puzzles, contests, giveaways, and prizes, too.
We really get into the holiday spirit at Beauchamp Orthodontics, and we want to extend the fun all the way to the end of the year. With that in mind, we’re answering some of the biggest questions you have about enjoying the holidays with metal braces. Don’t worry, it’s a lot easier than you might think!
1. You Might Have to Avoid Certain Candies, But Not All of Them
It’s impossible to give a full list of every kind of candy that shows up from Halloween to New Year’s. The joy of finding out just what you got is part of the fun, after all! In just the same way, we couldn’t possibly list all of the candies that can be trouble for braces. It’s up to responsible adults to look out before kids jump into their candy haul!
So, what are the types of candies that are toughest with braces?
a. Sticky, Gooey Candies Like Caramel
Caramel is the ultimate sticky, gooey candy and should definitely be avoided in all its forms – sorry! What’s the problem with caramel? It can easily get stuck to braces and be very difficult to get out. In fact, we’ve often seen that the caramel itself doesn’t cause any harm, but efforts to get it out lead to breaking a band or bending a bracket. Yikes!
Tootsie Rolls and other sticky chocolates will take a pass as well. On the other hand, soft chocolates like those individually wrapped Dove Promises are okay, especially if you allow them to melt in your mouth. Candy with a coating that dissolves rather than crunches, like M&Ms, will also be alright.
One more thing to be alert to is the fact that so many sticky candies also have nuts. Nuts break into tiny shards that can easily get stuck in your dental work. They’re tough to clean out even in the best of times. A candy bar like Payday, where nuts adhere to the outside of a sticky bar of pure caramel, is one of the worst for braces!
b. Tough, Crunchy Candies
What’s the most dangerous candy at Halloween? It’s something that combines both “sticky” and “crunchy” – a caramel apple. Apples are too tough for dental work and should only be consumed if they’ve been softened up by baking or preparing them another way.
Some candies are soft if you eat them one way but crunchy if you choose a different way. For instance, it’s fine to have a lollipop — but you should never bite into it! A crunchy treat could bend the metal of braces. Yes, your bite is that powerful!
2. Get Into the Holiday Spirit with Festive Band Colors
When you have braces, you’ll need the occasional follow-up appointment. During these appointments, Dr. Beauchamp checks in on your progress and answers your questions. To keep them on track, braces need a gentle adjustment. But you can go a little bit further for the holidays!
If you have an appointment anyway, consider requesting new bands in your favorite holiday or team sports colors. You can guarantee that even the biggest supporter won’t have this – every time you flash a smile for your big game or holiday get-together, you’ll be showing off your spirit!
3. Do Holiday Travel Right
Taking a trip for the holidays? You can go anywhere and do anything, just keep a few quick tips in mind. First, be sure you know which foods to avoid with braces … and don’t be tempted to cheat! Even if you chew slowly, it’s still a risk!
Second, be sure you always pack a little bit of dental wax in your carry-on bag. This wax is safe and nontoxic. It can help you make quick, temporary repairs to your braces so you’re safe and sound until you can see Dr. Beauchamp!
To get started with orthodontic treatment in Port Orange, schedule your free consultation online.