Braces & Candy – What Can You Have?

Braces are one common type of orthodontic treatment. But as you may know, braces come with some food restrictions. Whether you have metal braces or clear brackets, in order to prevent damage to your braces, there are certain foods you shouldn’t eat. Candy is one of the most potentially problematic types of food, as many types are sticky, hard, and chewy. 

When it comes to braces and candy, here’s what you can and can’t have if you want to avoid damage to your braces and keep your treatment time to a minimum. 

Candy to Avoid

The following candy types should be avoided at all times while wearing braces: 

  • Hard candy
  • Taffy
  • Tootsie rolls
  • Chewy caramel
  • Candy/caramel apples
  • Candy with nuts
  • Gum
  • Licorice
  • Hard candy (Peppermints)

Many of these candies and similar types can stick to brackets, pull brackets off of teeth, disconnect wires, bend wires, and wreak general havoc on your braces. 

Candy to Be Careful With

These types of candy can sometimes be eaten with braces as long as you are careful: 

  • Suckers or lollipops (just don’t bite them)
  • Candy corn
  • Jelly beans
  • Gummy candy
  • Hard chocolate candy (Twix)

Some of these can cause damage to your braces if they are too hard. Use careful judgment when it comes to gummies and candy bars with hard pieces inside, like the cookie part of a Twix bar. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and avoid it. 

Candy that is Safe to Eat

These types of candy can usually be eaten safely with braces: 

  • Soft chocolate candy (without nuts)
  • M&Ms (except peanut)
  • Caramel filled chocolate
  • Marshmallows
  • Peppermint patties 

There are still plenty of candy types you can eat. Be careful not to eat chocolate that has been in the refrigerator or freezer without allowing it to warm up first. 

Alternatives to Your Favorite Candy

If you’re feeling down that you can’t enjoy some of your favorite candies, consider these alternatives that provide a similar taste without the risk to your braces. 

  • Apple slices with caramel dip. Missing the caramel apples you love? Slice apples into bite size pieces and dip them in soft caramel dip instead. 
  • Bubble gum flavored ice cream. Love the flavor of bubble gum, but can’t chew it with your braces? Bubble gum flavored ice cream can give you the flavor without the sticky texture. 
  • Peanut butter. Can’t have peanuts? Eat candy with peanut butter instead. For example, eat peanut butter M&Ms instead of the peanut kind. 

Clear Aligners Have No Food Restrictions

Don’t want to have to give up your favorite foods while you straighten your teeth? Consider a clear aligner system like Invisalign. Clear aligners are removable, allowing you to eat whatever you want without restrictions. But it is still important to clean your teeth after eating sticky candy before putting your aligners back in. Sugar trapped under your aligners increases your risk of tooth decay. 

Why is it Important to Follow Eating Instructions with Braces?

When you eat something you shouldn’t, you’re at a higher risk of damaging your braces. When a bracket comes off or a wire breaks or bends, you’ll have to go back to the orthodontist to have it fixed. If you don’t have your braces fixed it could cause your teeth to shift incorrectly, which could delay your treatment. Call us right away if your braces are damaged in any way. 

Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics Provides a Range of Orthodontic Treatments

It helps to have a variety of options when it comes to orthodontic treatment so you can find the best treatment type for you. Lake Minnetonka Orthodontics provides metal braces, clear brackets, and Invisalign among other treatments. 

Contact us today at one of our 3 convenient locations to learn more and schedule an appointment.