We love the holidays at Kragor Orthodontics, but for our patients with braces the months of October through December can feel like one long slog. Halloween launches the extended season of candy, candy everywhere, and until January 1st our patients with braces are tempted at every school, family or community event with treats that trick them into thinking – I can have just one.

But Dr. Andy Kragor reminds our patients that while innovations in braces have come a long way, there is no orthodontic treatment that temporarily gives you the jaws of a T Rex. “The scariest holiday for an orthodontist is Halloween, and it has nothing to do with my patients in the office dressed as The Purge characters” says Dr. Andy. “I see what the combination of kettle corn, caramel apples and Tootsie Rolls does to braces, and it’s horrifying. It also delays and extends treatment time with the necessary repairs of broken brackets.”

Dr. Ambre Kragor’s advice for her orthodontic patients are simple. “Remember Kragor Orthodontics wants you to have a stunning smile—as quickly as possible. Grandma’s peanut brittle will be there next Thanksgiving. Skip the chips and candy this year for the smile that is going to be with you for decades. It really is a lot healthier too.”

Drs. Ambre and Andy Kragor advise patients to pass on the following foods to avoid damage to their braces or aligner attachments: Jolly Ranchers, caramel, bubble gum, ice, hard taco shells, chips (tortilla, kettle cooked, Doritos), popcorn, taffy, hard rolls, gummy candy, skittles, beef jerky, bagels, pizza crust, tootsie rolls, hard, raw fruits and veggies, and chewing on pencils/pens or chewing on fingernails.

Additional ways to take care of your braces or aligner attachments:

  • Try and stay away from drinks with sugar. If you must drink them, make sure to brush or rinse immediately after to prevent white spots or scarring on your teeth
  • Slice harder foods that you would otherwise bite into (apples, corn on the cob)
  • Pull all meat off of the bone before eating (chicken wings, ribs)
  • Avoid hard, sticky and chewy foods that might break or damage your braces or aligner attachments
  • Dark colored drinks cause staining, so make sure you drink through a straw (sweet tea, coffee, red wine for adult patients)

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends a healthy diet to support the body as it undergoes the biological changes that occur during orthodontic treatment. Patients are encouraged to enjoy a variety of healthful, easy-to-chew foods during orthodontic treatment. Soups, stews, casseroles, pasta, scrambled eggs and smoothies can be good choices. You can enjoy fresh fruits like apples and pears, but they should be sliced rather than bitten into. Similarly, sandwiches and pizza are OK, but they should be cut into bite-sized pieces. Cut corn off the cob before serving.

Have questions about the best way to take care of your braces? Contact Kragor Orthodontics. Enjoy your Halloween and be safe out there!