The Best and Worst Halloween Candies For Kids with Braces

Ever had a broken bracket or bent wires? Candy is one of the biggest culprits. And as anyone who’s busted a bracket will tell you, Halloween night is not a good time to have an orthodontic emergency. Kids and teens with braces can enjoy Halloween parties and Halloween weekend (and even some treats!) without disaster by following these tips.

Worst Candy for Braces Wearers

Chewy Candies. Starburst, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, any kind of taffy, Airheads, jelly beans, Tootsie Rolls, gumdrops, and Laffy Taffy all have one thing in common: they can break or bend your braces. Stay away from these.

Caramel. Soft and hard caramels will get stuck in your braces and can tear brackets off your teeth. Sugar Babies, caramels, Toffee (like Heath & Skor) are also bad for braces. Stay away from caramel apples and candy apples too. If you really love caramel, go for thin slices of apple dipped in a thin caramel sauce.

Hard Candies. Avoid all hard candies while wearing braces. Jawbreakers, jolly ranchers, butterscotch candies, and other hard candies can break off your brackets, bend wires, stain elastics, and can cause tooth decay. Nerds, Tic Tacs, and Lifesavers should also be avoided.

Licorice. Chewy licorice is bad for braces and can tear off brackets and bend wires. It also gets stuck in teeth easily, stains elastics, and contributes to tooth decay and bad breath.

Candies and Candy Bars With Nuts. Braces wearers should skip any kinds of candies with nuts, including Almond Joy, Snickers, Hershey’s with Almonds, Babe Ruth, Payday, and other nutty candies. If you really love nuts, go for peanut butter cups. Also avoid: caramel apples, caramel popcorn, bagels, hard pizza crust, beef jerky, and pretzels.

Best Candy For Braces

Pure Chocolate. 70% of Halloween candy sales each year are for chocolate, and that’s a good thing for your teeth! Skip chocolate with nuts and caramel and go with pure chocolate. It’s easy to chew, won’t damage your braces, and is less likely to cause tooth decay than other kinds of candy. Just about any brand of chocolate is okay: Hershey’s bars, Dove, plain M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses or any other brand is a safe choice.

Peanut Butter Cups. If you love nuts and enjoy a bit of protein with your chocolate, go for peanut butter cups. They won’t damage your braces and will give you a nutty fix without bending wires.

Mint Patties. Peppermint patties (including York and Junior Mints) are tasty, refreshing and are a good choice for braces wearers. Make sure you brush afterwards because they are loaded with sugar. As a bonus, they even freshen your breath.

Kit Kat and Nestle Crunch. If you like a bit of crunch in your chocolate, good choices are Kit Kat or Nestle Crunch bars. Avoid chocolate-covered nuts, chewy chocolate candies (like Riesen or Tootsie Rolls) or chocolate bars with nuts in them.

3 Musketeers and Milky Way. If you like sticky or fluffy candy, you can probably safely enjoy 3 Musketeers and Milky Way and similar candies. The caramel in Milky Way is soft enough that it shouldn’t create a problem.

Other great Halloween party treats: ice cream, berries, melon, grapes, and smoothies.

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