It is perfectly fine to allow treats as part of your children's diet, as long as it’s a moderate one! With good oral hygiene, the occasional treat is just fine – even for kids with braces!
Children with braces often feel like their diets are very limited. Not only can lots of different types of food cause damage to braces, but sugar consumption can be a bigger problem too. This is because braces create many more crevices, nooks, and crannies for sugar-eating bacteria to hide in.
However, none of this means that you must avoid treats and goodies at all costs during orthodontic treatment. As with so many other things in life, moderation and common sense are key! And as with so many other things in dental health, oral hygiene is key, too.
Children with braces can safely indulge in the occasional treat as long as they maintain good oral hygiene (brushing and flossing after each meal and snack), and choose treats that will not cause damage to their braces.
The following treats and goodies may not be “recommended” by your dentist as such, but they won’t cause any damage to your braces.
Chocolate: room temperature chocolate is fairly soft, and so shouldn’t cause any problems. Just be sure to stay away from chocolate with extra gooey or hard fillings (nougat, nuts, dried fruit or caramel, for instance). Try: Kit Kat, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, plain M&Ms, or plain chocolate bars in general.
Hot Dogs or Pizza: For a fun junk food meal, it’s hard to beat hot dogs or pizza, and it would be quite the trick if you managed to damage your braces on them!
Ice Cream, Milkshakes or Frozen Yogurt: soft, sweet, creamy and delicious, none of these treats are hard or sticky enough to do your braces any harm.
Soft, Freshly-Baked Cookies: Again, be sure to avoid anything with nuts or gooey fillings, but otherwise, fresh cookies are a safe bet.
Soft Pretzels: The pretzel place in the mall food court will likely have lots of pretzel options, both sweet and savoury, as well as dips. Most of these are perfectly safe for your braces.
Treats to avoid:
- Gummy candies
- Sticky, gooey treats like caramel, dried fruit and gum.
Treats and junk food should always be enjoyed in moderation, both for your oral health and overall health, too. As long as they exercise restraint, choose wisely and are careful to brush and floss after indulging, children can enjoy treats while wearing braces without worry!