Ever had a broken bracket or bent wires? Candy is one of the biggest culprits. And as anyone who’s busted a bracket will tell you, Halloween night is not a good time to have an orthodontic emergency. Kids and teens with braces can enjoy Halloween parties and Halloween weekend (and even some treats!) without disaster by following these tips for candies for kids with braces.

Worst Candies for Kids with Braces

Chewy Candies

Starburst, Skittles, Tootsie Rolls, any kind of taffy, Airheads, jelly beans, Tootsie Rolls, gumdrops, and Laffy Taffy all have one thing in common: they can break or bend your braces. Stay away from these. They can really increase how often a kid has to go to the orthodontist.


Soft and hard caramels will get stuck in your braces and can tear brackets off your teeth. Sugar Babies, caramels, Toffee (like Heath and Skor) are also bad for braces. Stay away from caramel apples and candy apples too. If you really love caramel, go for thin slices of apple dipped in a thin caramel sauce.

Hard Candies

Avoid all hard candies while wearing braces. Jawbreakers, jolly ranchers, butterscotch candies, and other hard candies can break off your brackets, bend wires, stain elastics, and can cause tooth decay. Nerds, Tic Tacs, and Lifesavers should also be avoided with braces.


Chewy licorice is bad for braces and can tear off brackets and bend wires. It also gets stuck in teeth easily, stains elastics, and contributes to tooth decay and bad breath.

Nut-containing Candies and Candy Bars

Braces wearers should skip any kinds of candies with nuts, including Almond Joy, Snickers, Hershey’s with Almonds, Babe Ruth, Payday, and other nutty candies. If you really love nuts, go for peanut butter cups.

Also avoid: caramel apples, caramel popcorn, bagels, hard pizza crust, beef jerky, and pretzels.

Best Candies For Kids with Braces

Pure Chocolate

Recent polls* show that over 70% of Halloween candy sales each year are for chocolate, and that’s a good thing for your teeth! Skip chocolate with nuts and caramel and go with pure chocolate. It’s a much better braces snack. It’s easy to chew, won’t damage your braces, and is less likely to cause tooth decay than other kinds of candy. Just about any brand of chocolate is okay: Hershey’s bars, Dove, plain M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses or any other brand is a safe choice.

Peanut Butter Cups

If you love nuts and enjoy a bit of protein with your chocolate, go for peanut butter cups. They won’t damage your braces and will give you a nutty fix without bending wires.

Mint Patties

Peppermint patties (including York and Junior Mints) are tasty, refreshing and are a good choice for braces wearers. Make sure you brush afterwards because they are loaded with sugar. As a bonus, they even freshen your breath.

Kit Kat and Nestle Crunch

If you like a bit of crunch in your chocolate, good choices are Kit Kat or Nestle Crunch bars. Avoid chocolate-covered nuts, chewy chocolate candies (like Riesen or Tootsie Rolls) or chocolate bars with nuts in them.

3 Musketeers and Milky Way

If you like sticky or fluffy candy, you can probably safely enjoy 3 Musketeers and Milky Way and similar candies. The caramel in Milky Way is soft enough for braces that it shouldn’t create a problem.

Other great Halloween party treats: ice cream, berries, melon, grapes, and smoothies.

*See the 2014 Poll by the National Confectioners Association® (NCA).

Candy isn’t the only food that could cause harm to your braces, there are other foods you should avoid. If you have additional questions about maintenance for your braces or aren’t sure if braces are right for you, please get in contact with Dunn Orthodontics are one of our Phoenix-area locations in Litchfield Park, Arcadia, and Phoenix. We offer complimentary consultations for new patients!

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