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Worst Halloween Candies for Braces

By Shelby Tatomir on October 9, 2018 in Dental Health

eat caramel with braces

Around 4 million kids and teens in the US wear braces. That’s 10% of the trick-or-treaters scavenging your neighborhood this Halloween. Having braces can be hard enough. Halloween candy can make it even more difficult. Make it easier for the neighborhood kids this Halloween and avoid giving these candies to kids with braces this Halloween.

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Caramel with Braces

Candy can compromise the strength of braces, resulting in loose bonds, broken wires, or detached brackets. Not only is this painful, but it can extend treatment time, too. And no one wants braces on longer than they need.

“The worst kind of candy for braces is the sticky, chewy kind such as bubble gum and Sour Patch Kids,” said Dr. Olga Bukholts. “They stick to the brace and pull it off with every chewing stroke. Every time a brace or bracket breaks, it sets the treatment a step back.”

If you think cavities hurt, imagine how your teeth feel after popping off a bracket!

Here are the candies to watch out for:


Caramel is one of those terribly sticky candies that Dr. Bukholts refers to. It’s so easy for caramel to get lodged between a tooth and a brace. This can lead to tooth decay from the sugar in the candy sitting on the tooth. It can also loosen brackets or detach them. That is bad news because it means an extra trip to the orthodontist.


Chewy, gummy salt water taffy is a danger with braces. It’s extremely sticky, like caramel, so when it gets stuck behind a wire or globbed onto a bracket, it’s STUCK.


You know you’re not supposed to eat gum with braces, but do you know why? Gum bends the wires of braces, moving the specific adjustments made to straighten your teeth. Even if you don’t do serious damage to your appliances, overtime the wires will weaken and become less effective. This leads to a longer time in braces.

Wires used today are much more flexible than they used to be, but it’s still a bad habit to start.

Hard Candies and Popcorn Kernels

The force used to crunch into uncompromising hard candy and snacks can pop off a bracket. And popcorn kernels are worse! Steer clear or keep yourself from trying to chew, if possible.


They look so innocent with their bright, swirling colors and inviting patterns. Unfortunately, lollipops, especially large lollipops, are an orthodontist’s nightmare.

The Good News is Chocolate

Are you wondering “what candy can I eat with braces?!” If you have a heavy heart after reading, reach for a bar of chocolate.

Soft, smooth, delicious chocolate won’t damage your braces, and is less likely to cause tooth decay than other kinds of candy. So, rejoice with a Kit-Kat or a Kiss.

For other suggestions about what to eat that’s good for your teeth, check out this blog.