Orthodontics: Can I Eat Candy With Braces On?

Patients who have braces and crave sugar, may be tempted to dive into a gooey candy bar or sticky, sour candy. An orthodontist in San Clemente, CA, such as from John Redmond Orthodontics, is likely to recommend limiting candy intake for the duration of your braces. While there are other food options that aren’t great to eat while having braces, candy is at the top of that list. Candy is discouraged for a number of reasons, which we have gone into further detail with the Q&A below. Understanding the importance of avoiding candy whenever possible is crucial to the outcome of your orthodontic treatment. Your gums and teeth may thank you later, for curbing those sweet cravings now. 

Q: What is it about candy that is so bad?

A: Candy is not only bad for your health, but for those with braces too. Candy is loaded with sugars, which ultimately are carbohydrates and can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Even for teeth without braces, candy is a threat to dental health. Candy can easily get jammed between wires and brackets, damaging your braces. If candy particles get stuck and are left there for a long period of time, it can lead to tooth decay.

Q: Does it matter what type of candy consistency I eat?

A: Whether the candy be soft, gooey, sticky or hardened, it can still damage braces. If you bite into a hard piece of candy, the teeth endure stress due to the force required to break it down and chew. When wearing braces, biting onto this sturdy candy can put pressure on brackets or attachments along the teeth. A bracket or band can break, become loose, or pop off due to the chomp of candy. Then, you’ll have to make an appointment with your orthodontist to repair the problem. If braces become damaged or loose, it can set your treatment back a couple months. 

Q: Are teeth more sensitive when braces are on?

A: Candy not only contributes to cavities, but it can hurt your teeth in other ways you hadn’t initially thought. In addition to the force required to chew on such a sticky or hard consistency, it can make your teeth more sore than they already are. Teeth can become quite sensitive when wearing braces, particularly after an adjustment. The candy you had eaten prior to having braces on, may now cause your teeth pain when chewing. 

Q: Are there alternatives to eating candy?

A: Eating candy may not be worth the ache and pain it can cause, so instead you can find alternatives to satisfy your cravings. Try at-home smoothies made with fruit, yogurt and ice cream. Or, bake something sweet from a cookbook that is braces-friendly. Be sure to still floss and brush well after eating these alternatives, as they may still have some amount of sugar. But, at least you will be saving your teeth from the force of hard candies, and preventing soft candies from sticking to places you can’t reach.