Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Treats for Kids with Braces and Sealants

My two oldest sons had sealants placed on their back teeth when they were young, and wore braces when they got older, so they’ve always stayed away from gum and sticky candy, like taffy. This usually meant that they had to throw out or give away half of their Halloween candy collection! (Not a bad thing for their nutrition and weight, though.) More than 4 million children and 1 million adults in the United States and Canada receive orthodontic treatment. This time of year is often the busiest for orthodontists, perhaps because kids have damaged their braces from eating chewy, hard or crunchy candy. If you’re passing out candy this year, you might want to consider purchasing treats that are “braces-friendly.” And if you’re the parent of a child with braces or sealants, be sure to weed out those treats that might damage their dental appliances. The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) advises kids to stay away from:

hard candies
chewy candies
jelly beans
hard pretzels
bubble gum
taco chips

And they also remind families to brush and floss after eating any kind of sweets.

So what kind of Halloween treats can you make for your kids that won’t hurt their braces or sealants? The AAO website has some great Braces-Friendly Halloween Recipes at http://braces.org/nohm-mom/mom_braces.htm. They include fun items such as Green Goo Slimedoo, Spider Bites, Spooktacular Pumpkin Cake, and Frightfully Fabulous Cupcake Sandwiches!

It can be difficult for kids to resist certain treats, but remind them that damaged braces can potentially prolong their treatment. Show them that there are plenty of alternatives that are delicious and braces-friendly, too. Have a happy, safe and tooth-healthy Halloween!

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  1. i was reading in the NYT about how sealants might be unhealthy for kids...my 14 year old has some so i was paying close attention. great tips here!

  2. Thanks for letting me know this! I'll have to look into it further. My boys are now 18 and 16, so they got their sealants many years ago. They may not even be on their teeth anymore! But I'd be curious to read about what the controversy is.


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