Treat Yourself to a Healthy Smile This Halloween

Orthodontic-friendly Recipes from the American Association of Orthodontists

Oct 20, 2014, 11:02 ET from American Association of Orthodontists

ST. LOUIS, Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Candy corn, caramel apples, popcorn balls…Halloween goodies like these may bring a smile to the faces of kids of any age, but for people in orthodontic treatment, they could cause some unhappy problems.

Halloween tends to be a busy time of year for orthodontists – primarily because patients indulge in treats that they should try to avoid. That is why October is National Orthodontic Health Month. Candies and other treats that are hard, chewy, sticky or crunchy have the potential to cause damage to braces or clear aligners. Not only can damaged braces or aligners be uncomfortable for the patient, but they may even prolong treatment.

The American Association of Orthodontists has scared up some orthodontic-friendly recipes to help you treat yourself right, including recipes personally selected by renowned celebrity Chef John Besh: Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Yogurt Fruit Pops and Drew's Cake.

"Our goal is to help each patient successfully achieve their goal of a healthy, beautiful smile," says Robert E. Varner, DMD, president of the AAO.  "Eating the right kinds of foods will help patients reach that objective.  These tasty recipes from Chef Besh are just what the orthodontist ordered," jokes Dr. Varner.

The recipes will help orthodontic patients stay on track. It's no trick – these recipes are fun to make, fun to eat – and they won't put a dent in your smile.

Treats to Enjoy, Treats to Avoid

In general, orthodontic patients should look for foods that are soft and easy to chew. Halloween season treats can include:

  • Soft, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates
  • Peanut butter cups
  • Milk shakes
  • Gelatin
  • Peeled, thinly sliced apples
  • Ice cream

Orthodontic patients should avoid treats that are sticky, hard, chewy or crunchy.

  • Caramel
  • Nuts (including candies that contain nuts)
  • Licorice, jelly beans or taffy
  • Hard pretzels
  • Bubblegum
  • Candy corn
  • Lollypops
  • Popcorn (including unpopped kernels)
  • Taco chips
  • Ice

Kids (and adults) who indulge in sweets should remember to do so in moderation and to brush and floss afterward.  For more information about orthodontic care, or to find nearby members of the American Association of Orthodontists, visit

About the American Association of Orthodontists
Founded in 1900, the American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) is the world's oldest and largest dental specialty organization.  It represents 17,000 orthodontist members throughout the United States, Canada and abroad.  The AAO encourages and sponsors key research to enable its members to provide the highest quality of care to patients, and is committed to educating the public about the need for, and benefits of, orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists are uniquely qualified specialists who diagnose, prevent and treat dental and facial irregularities in patients of all ages to correctly align teeth and jaws.  Orthodontists receive an additional two to three years of specialized education in orthodontics beyond dental school at an accredited orthodontic residency program.  Visit the AAO's website,, for information about orthodontists, orthodontic care and to locate nearby AAO-member orthodontists.

SOURCE American Association of Orthodontists