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Happy Halloween from your friends at Dr. Melanie Orthodontics! For many of our Rancho Santa Fe and San Diego orthodontic patients, it’s the best time of the year. Dressing up in spooky costumes, trick or treating with your buds, swapping candy and stockpiling your favorite goodies — what’s not to love!


But don’t dive into all your favorite goodies just yet. If you have braces this Halloween, we have some news for you: there are certain Halloween candies that are not safe for braces. Yep, before you start chewing on those gooey caramels or chomping down on any hard candies, you need to know the rules for eating with braces. In this post, Dr. Melanie Wang and her team will share:


  • What you can eat with braces (and what foods to avoid)
  • Braces-friendly Halloween candies
  • Healthy food swaps for Halloween treats


Dr. Melanie in the orthodontic office. She is wearing a pterodactyl mask while holding a Halloween pumpkin. The pumpkin is carved and decorated to wear braces

What Can I Eat With Braces?


It’s many patients’ very first question when they start braces treatment: what can I eat with braces and what foods do I have to avoid? While there will likely be an adjustment period as you figure out what’s safe for your new appliance, we promise it’s not so bad. By making a few simple tweaks and keeping a few simple rules in mind, you’ll be able to both enjoy lots of tasty things while keeping your braces (and teeth) safe and healthy.


So, what are the foods to avoid with braces? You’ll have to steer clear of anything hard, crunchy, sticky, chewy or foods you have to bite into. Here are some examples of what to look out for:


  • Hard foods: Nuts, hard candies (such as Jolly Ranchers), popcorn
  • Crunchy foods: Nuts, popcorn, chips, chocolate bars with nuts in them
  • Sticky foods: Caramel, chewing gum
  • Chewy foods: Hard rolls, bagels, pizza crusts, taffy, licorice, Starbursts
  • Foods you bite into: Corn on the cob, whole fruits and veggies (like apples or carrots)


And…that’s it! See, we told you it wouldn’t be that hard. Everything else is on the table — literally — but you’ll probably want to stick to softer foods. Here are some ideas:


  • Yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Bite-sized fruit (like berries or orange segments)
  • Soft breads (like croissants)
  • Steamed veggies
  • Tofu
  • Soups
  • Smoothies
  • Soft meats (like pulled pork and chicken)
  • Pasta
  • And the list goes on!



Braces-Friendly Halloween Candy


Okay, okay, this is what you’re really here for. Basically, if you stick to the rules above, you’ll be well prepared to figure out which Halloween candy that’s safe for braces. Let’s look at some examples of what you can eat!


  • Chocolate: Chocolates or chocolate bars that don’t have any hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy bits inside are fair game. So avoid the Caramilk bar and opt instead for a Dairy Milk to prevent damage to your braces.
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Is there anyone out there that doesn’t love Reese’s cups? Fortunately, these soft, delicious treats are totally safe for braces. While we’re at it, we might as well mention that Reese’s Pieces are also safe to eat. So stock up on your peanut buttery chocolate goodness!
  • Apples: Skip the candy apple (that’s a hard, crunchy, sticky and bite-into-food!) and instead cut an apple into bite-sized pieces. Yeah, we know it won’t be as fun without caramel or that candy coating, but you can dip fruit into melted chocolate as a way to get in on the Halloween action.
  • Ice cream: Ice cream isn’t just for summer — it can be a great braces-friendly Halloween treat, too. Just be sure to avoid anything with nuts or ribbons of caramel. Otherwise, ice cream is A-okay.
  • Cookies: Soft baked goods are another great option for braces wearers as long as you follow the rules of thumb we’ve been talking about.


Braces-Friendly Halloween Candy


How to Have a Braces-Friendly Halloween


We hope you’re still excited about getting into the Halloween spirit, even with braces. But as orthodontists in San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe, it’s our job to remind you about how to take care of your appliance, especially when you’ll be having some extra sugary goodies. Here’s how to get the most out of your Halloween while still staying on top of your orthodontic treatment.


  • Make braces-smart candy choices. Remember the rules: no hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy candies (or anything you have to bite into).
  • Make sure to brush your teeth after every snack, meal, treat or beverage other than water. This is even more important when eating candy!
  • Floss more than usual. Sugar loves to hide in between your teeth and behind your brackets and wires. If you want to enjoy Halloween candy, you’re going to have to floss extra well to keep your teeth strong and healthy.


Have more questions about what you can eat with braces this Halloween? Is it time to book your next appointment with Dr. Melanie? Contact us today!

Dr. Melanie

Author Dr. Melanie

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