Remember, the teeth you have now are supposed to last your entire lifetime. Teeth problems are not only painful but expensive and tedious to get taken care of. Before eating something that has the slightest potential of breaking your braces, be sure to ask your dentist if it is ok! While it is possible and not completely harmful, you should avoid eating cotton candy with braces.
While wearing braces, your teeth are very sensitive and usually ache a lot. Having sugar in hard-to-clean places (AKA under and around the braces) makes it easy for bacteria to flourish.
However, with regular flossing and brushing, cotton candy is one of the more forgiving sweets to consume. The best way to consume cotton candy with braces is in small chunks, small enough to dissolve on your tongue. Ideally, all the excess sugary treats should be on hold at least until the braces come off.
Why should I not eat cotton candy with braces?
Cotton candy AKA fairy floss is created from melted sugar turning into many filaments. Eating cotton candy will put sugar in areas around and under the braces.
Typically, these areas are hard to reach and clean, especially for what kids consider “thorough” brushing.
Risks of eating cotton candy with braces
One issue of eating cotton candy with braces is the risk of damaging braces. Especially with how much more dense packaged cotton candy is over freshly spun candy, you will notice packaged cotton candy is a lot more compact. Biting and trying to chew brings possibilities of damage and pain.
Another issue is an increase in risk for tooth decay and cavities. Sugar gets deep into these crevices that kids just won’t wash thoroughly enough. A drink of water immediately after consuming sugar will help flush out those crevices.
Am I supposed to just go without cotton candy for forever (while the braces are on)?
No, it is still possible to eat cotton candy with braces in a way that minimizes long-term damage.
For kids with braces, this is an opportunity to teach healthy habits and promote a health-conscious mind.
Well, how do I eat cotton candy with braces then?
If the urge to eat cotton candy is too strong, here’s a simple tip to minimize the amount of chewing and more importantly, damage to braces:
Rip the cotton candy into penny-sized shreds that can be dissolved on the tongue; this will allow the tasting of cotton candy with minimal contact with braces.
I highly recommend getting a cotton candy machine instead of the yucky pre-packaged version because freshly spun cotton candy melts on the tongue and requires little movement of the jaw (it also tastes so much better!). This also minimizes contact of sugar with hard-to-reach places around the braces.
With the dense, packaged cotton candy, they require almost a bite to consume. This is painful for those with braces especially with bands pulling teeth into alignment.
What are some “sweet tooth” alternatives to cotton candy?
When you have braces on, you have to be extra careful with any kind of chewing. One wrong bite could damage/loosen the brackets or braces. However, we all get those sugar cravings so…
Here’s a quick list of foods that don’t require much chewing that will satisfy any sweet tooth:
- Ice cream! (If your sensitive teeth can’t handle cold, stop!)
- Soft fruits that don’t require a strong bite (tangerines, kiwis, berries)
- Jell-O (Not reccomended if teeth/gums feel sore)
- Cake (If the cake is soft and moist, it shouldn’t be too hard to chew)
Can I lick candy with braces?
Licking candy, for the most part, will not damage braces. With caution, make sure to avoid any chewing or biting motions with hard candy as it can easily damage the brackets.
Definitely avoid chewy or gummy candies such as caramels, nougats, and taffies.
If you have ligature rubber bands around the braces, be careful with any excess mouth movements if consuming candies.
The best practice is to avoid sugary treats altogether when going under orthodontic treatment.
Can I eat chocolate with braces?
Softer chocolates like milk or white are soft enough to melt in the mouth without chewing or biting. Avoid dark chocolates as it’s typically harder and will not melt as easily.
With chocolates, avoid any added ingredients that are crunchy or sticky such as nuts or caramel.