Halloween can be a hard holiday for those wearing braces and other orthodontia. While everyone else is biting into caramel apples and sticky candy, those with braces are carefully cutting up their food and avoiding sweets that might send them straight into the orthodontist’s chair on Nov. 2.
James Klarsch, D.D.S. M.S., associate clinical professor at Saint Louis University’s Center for Advanced Dental Education and orthodontist at Klarsch Orthodontics in Town & Country, said he sees an uptick in appointments for broken brackets in the days after Halloween.
In order to avoid an I-told-you-so conversation with your orthodontist, Klarsch recommends the following:
- Avoid hard, sticky or chewy candies as they will stick more to orthodontia and make teeth cleaning more difficult.
- If you are going for candy, stick with softer, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates.
- Remember to maintain the good oral hygiene practices that your dentist or orthodontist recommends throughout the year by brushing and flossing immediately after consuming candy to fight cavities.
- If it isn’t possible to brush right away, drink a class of water to remove some of the sugar from your mouth.
For party planning parents worried about serving something everyone can eat, Klarsch recommends checking out the American Association of Orthodontists’ web site for orthodontic-friendly recipes. October is National Orthodontic Health Month.
Klarsch also tells patients to stay away from soda.
“That’s not just at Halloween but year-round,” he said.
The Center for Advanced Dental Education’s mission is to achieve the highest level of excellence in scholarship and patient care while educating dentists in the specialties of orthodontics (tooth straightening), endodontics (root canal treatment) and periodontics (gum disease therapy). The center aims to serve its students, the profession of dentistry, the community of St. Louis, and the communities in which the graduates of CADE will practice their dental specialty.