The California Association of Orthodontists’ Five Tips for a Healthy Halloween

October is National Orthodontic Health Month

LOS ANGELES–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As kids across California celebrate Halloween on the last day of
National Orthodontic Health Month, members of the California Association
of Orthodontists (CAO) want to provide some helpful tips for patients
with braces to be aware of which candies can damage their braces. For
example, sticky candy, such as caramels, fruit chews, and gum, should be
avoided when wearing braces.

Halloween is a fun holiday for children, and having braces or aligners
does not have to take away any of the excitement from tasty treats. When
in doubt, children should ask their parents if a specific candy is safe.
Children can trade with their friends and siblings to get only
bracket-safe candies. This way children can participate in the fun
without causing damage and costing their parents added expense.

“With all of the excitement and free candy on Halloween, it is easy to
get carried away on a sugar high,” said Dr.
Andrew Harner
, President of the California Association of
Orthodontists. “We encourage orthodontic patients across the state to
consider the cavity-causing effects and the potential damage to their
orthodontic appliances from munching on hard, sugary treats this

As orthodontic specialists, members of the CAO would also like to offer
five timely tips to the community to protect braces, aligners and other
orthodontic appliances while protecting teeth from decay this time of

  1. Avoid sticky situations with your braces and aligners. Stay
    away from hard, sticky, crunchy, or chewy candy and snacks. These
    include caramel, gummies, licorice, taffy, bubble gum (even the
    sugarless kind) and jelly beans.
  2. Say “boo” to hard treats – including hard-shelled peanut
    candies, nuts or nut-filled candies, taco chips and popcorn
    (especially unpopped kernels). And whether in orthodontic treatment or
    not, no one should ever chew ice.
  3. Brush up! Sweets can cause cavities, which means brushing and
    flossing are more important than ever during the Halloween season. Orthodontic
    patients should be especially vigilant about brushing and flossing
    after consuming sugary or starchy foods.
  4. Spooktacular news: Not all Halloween candy is off-limits. Good
    alternatives include soft chocolates, peanut butter cups or other
    melt-in-your-mouth varieties, cookies, powdery candy such as Sweet
    Tarts or Pixie Stix, candy-coated chocolates like M&Ms or nougat
    filled candies like Three Musketeers. The American Association of
    Orthodontists even offers orthodontic-friendly recipes for Halloween
    on its website at
  5. Make a commitment to oral health. Deciding to avoid hard and
    chewy sweets before the Halloween season increases your rate of
    success – and reduces the likelihood that you’ll break braces.

It is important to keep in mind these timely tips so children can have a
fun, safe and healthy Halloween season. Of course, both dentists and
orthodontists are concerned about the overall health of their patients;
however, only orthodontists have an additional 2-3 years of orthodontic
specialty training after dental school during their residency. As a
result of their orthodontic specialty training, orthodontists are the
most qualified to address any specific alignment concerns while patients
are in orthodontic treatment.

About the California Association of Orthodontists

The California Association of Orthodontists is a chapter of the American
Association of Orthodontists, the world’s oldest and largest dental
specialty organization. It represents more than 18,000 orthodontist
members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad. The Association
admits only orthodontists for membership. It encourages and sponsors key
research to enable members to provide patients with the highest quality
of care, and is committed to educating the public about the need for,
and benefits of, orthodontic treatment. For more information go to


for the California Association of Orthodontists
Brittany Lesser,