Halloween Guidelines from the American Association of Orthodontists

With the changing leaves, children back in school and crisp air, fall is a wonderful time of year to share with your family. The season also plays host to a favorite holiday for both children and adults. While Halloween is a time for festive decorations and dressing up, it also poses some risks, especially for children with braces. The following tips from Houston Orthodontist, Dr. Brad Jennings and the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) are geared toward children with braces, so they can keep their teeth safe as they celebrate Halloween.

Important Halloween Safety Tips

Trick-or-treating is a fun holiday tradition for children, but it comes with some potential hazards. In order to keep your children safe as they go door-to-door in search of treats, you’ll want to keep the following Halloween safety tips in mind:

  • Young children should be accompanied by an adult when trick-or-treating.
  • To help light the way for your child as they travel from house-to-house, make sure your child carries a flashlight.
  • To ensure that your child can be seen outdoors by oncoming cars, you want to choose costumes that are light in color and with reflective material.
  • Avoid choosing costumes with masks as they can pose safety dangers to both young children wearing the costume and other children around them.
  • Teach your children to never eat any of their Halloween candy until they get home. Adults should inspect the treats thoroughly. Your local police department may also offer free candy screenings for trick-or-treaters on Halloween.

Following the above Halloween safety precautions can help protect your children and keep them safe.

Halloween Goodies to Avoid If Your Child Wears Braces

If your children wear braces, there are certain treats that you want them to avoid on Halloween. Although tasty, certain treats can cause harm to your child’s braces, so you want to avoid the following:

  • Hard candies
  • Chewy candies such as Gummy Bears
  • Popcorn balls
  • Nuts
  • Caramels
  • Caramel apples
  • Licorice
  • Taffy
  • Jelly beans
  • Bubblegum
  • Hard pretzels
  • Popcorn

Although some may seem harmless, the above list has the potential to break, bend or ruin your child’s braces. That’s why it’s best to avoid consuming the treats in the first place.

Braces-Friendly Halloween Goodies Safe for Consumption

Not all Halloween candy is harmful to your child’s braces. They can still share in the joy of this special holiday by choosing the following safe Halloween treats:

  • Peanut butter cups
  • Soft chocolate
  • Gelatin snacks
  • Ice cream, sorbet and frozen yogurt
  • Root beer floats
  • Smoothies
  • Apple cider

These are just a sampling of some braces-friendly options over the traditional Halloween fare for your children. Ensuring that your children have a safe and fun Halloween is easy when you plan ahead and follow the above safety tips. It can also help them avoid having to make a special visit to Houston Orthodontist Dr. Jennings to have repair work performed on their damaged braces.

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