Halloween treats can be hard on braces

Yogurt Fruit PopsPopcorn, candy corn, caramel apples, candy with nuts and lollipops — all popular Halloween treats — could mean a trip to see Dr. Doug sooner than expected. This is true for people with braces or clear aligners.

Halloween tends to be a busy time for orthodontists because patients indulge in treats that they should try to avoid, damaging their braces or aligners. That’s why October has been named National Orthodontic Health Month.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends orthodontic patients look for foods that are soft and easy to chew and avoid those that are hard, sticky, chewy or crunchy. Chewing ice is bad, too. It adds that kids (and adults) who indulge in sweets should remember to brush and floss afterward.

New Orleans chef, restaurateur, television personality and author John Besh, and the American Association of Orthodontists have teamed up for National Orthodontic Health Month. Besh has chosen “orthodontic-friendly recipes” — Cauliflower Mac and Cheese, Yogurt Fruit Pops and Drew’s Cake — available during October at mylifemysmile.org.

“Partnering with chef Besh is a wonderful opportunity for us to give patients in treatment some delectable recipes for dishes to help them enjoy the season,” says Robert E. Varner, the association’s president. “Certain foods are tough on braces and other devices used to straighten teeth and align jaws. Chef Besh’s recipes can help patients reach their treatment goal of a healthy and beautiful smile.”