Braces are a terrific medical invention that can solve many dental problems. But living with braces can be quite restrictive, and frustrating even, especially for candy lovers. But does that mean you cannot have any type of candy while wearing braces? What candy can you eat with braces?
Even with braces, you can still enjoy candy such as chocolate bars, Kit Kats, marshmallows, 3 Musketeers, Jello Cups, Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups, Pixy Stix, Butter Mint, and Hershey’s Kisses, etc. As a general rule, you should avoid candies that are hard, chewy, and can easily get stuck to your braces.
Putting braces on your teeth is an expensive process. And you would not want to ruin the equipment simply because of a craving for sweets. So, it is crucial to know what type of candy you can consume wearing them and which ones to avoid.
And in this article, we are going to look at an extensive list, breaking down all types of candy and confectionery, to see which products are okay for your braces and which ones are not. Plus, we will also look at some non-candy desserts and whether or not they are safe for a person with braces.
What Hard Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
Hard candy is a candy where you boil different types of sugar without giving them a chance to crystallize. Once cooled, the sugars take on a solid form that requires a noticeable effort to bite into. But for our purposes here, we are going to include any candy with a tough shell as hard candy as well.
Now, hard candy and braces have a complicated relationship. They can be extremely detrimental to your braces. They can directly damage braces when you bite into them with force. Candies such as Gobstoppers, Butterscotch discs, Lemon Drops, Candy Brittles, etc. can hamper your brace’s alignment as well as your teeth.
On the flip side, you have candies such as lollipops, candy canes, M&Ms, etc. You can enjoy these candies without biting them. So, if you are careful, you can still enjoy some hard candies without damaging your braces. Here are some suggestions:
- M&Ms – Their slogan states that the chocolate will melt in your mouth and not your hands. So, despite their hard candy shell, you should be fine with eating M&Ms.
- Reece’s Pieces – The same as M&Ms.
- Candy Canes – Best you only lick the candy instead of biting the cane.
However, it is best that you consult with your orthodontist before purchasing any hard candy. Plus, you should avoid giving these treats to any children with braces. Because they are more likely to bite into the hard shells accidentally or otherwise, which would be bad news for both their teeth and dental apparatus.
- RELATED: Can You Eat Chips With Braces?
What Chocolate Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
Chocolate bars and most other chocolate-based candies tend to melt very easily in your mouth. This makes chocolate candies the ideal sweet treats to have with braces on. And you are never short on options for a delicious chocolate treat on the market. This will sound especially pleasing to chocolate lovers trying to solve their dental problems.
However, you do have to be mindful of certain aspects. The chocolate candy cannot be too sticky or gooey. Otherwise, the substance will get stuck in between the braces and may end up breaking the brackets holding the braces to your teeth. Not to mention the damage sticky candies do to your teeth.
Moreover, some chocolate bars are harder than others, especially if you keep them in the fridge for a long time. Biting into that hard chocolate bar will be similar to biting into a hard candy. This could cause pain in your gums and may damage your braces.
Also, chocolate and caramel are very common pairing. Hence, why you will find it in many products. But the caramel part of the package is not considered good for your braces as it is a sticky compound.
Fortunately for chocolate lovers, there are plenty of products on the market that are free from such detriments. And here is a list highlighting some of the best ones:
- Hershey’s Kisses – Do not let your braces get in the way of enjoying Valentine’s Day chocolates. With Hershey’s Kisses, you can still enjoy a sweet Valentine without worrying about that apparel in your mouth. Just avoid the ones with nuts.
- Hershey Bar – The same with Hershey’s Kisses. These are tasty, easily acquirable chocolate to satiate your sweet cravings. Again, avoid the bars that contain nuts.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups – One of the best candies you can treat yourself while wearing braces.
- York Peppermint Pattie – A combination of dark chocolate and a peppermint filling is irresistible.
- Andes Chocolate Mints – Another delightful mixture of chocolate and mint.
- Mounds Bar – For people who love a coconutty taste in their chocolate.
- 3 Musketeers – Contains no sticky caramel or hard nuts. So, perfect for your braces.
- Cadbury Bournville – Dark chocolates are great not only for satisfying your chocolate cravings. But they have many, scientifically backed health benefits. Just make sure the bar is not super hard when you bite into it.
- Nestle Crunch – Do not let the name fool you. Nestle Crunch consists of crisped rice, which should be fine for your braces.
What Chewy Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
Chewy candies pose a different sort of threat to your braces compared to the hard ones. Instead of breaking the equipment, these tricky treats can get stuck between the wirings. This can lead to the brackets popping off from your teeth, ruining what is an expensive piece of dental apparatus.
But not all chewy candies are similar. And some are safer for your braces than others. So, you can have chewy candies if that is the type of candy you prefer. Again, remember to check in with your orthodontist before you try any one of the following products:
- Marshmallow – Marshmallows are chewy but not gooey. And they do not stick as much as caramel. So, you can enjoy a piece of marshmallow over hot chocolate or on its own.
- 3 Musketeers – Musketeers are not technically chewy candy. But you do have to chew them and they are less likely to stick to your equipment.
- Sugar-free Gum – If you are someone who likes to chew habitually, then this is your solution. You can chew for a long time without worrying about any sugar sticking to your teeth or braces.
What Soft Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
Soft candies sound like something that should be fine for your braces. But the reality is quite different. Because most soft candies are sticky, gooey, and easily get in between the wirings in your braces. So, items such as toffee, sour patches, and licorice, are soft candies that you should avoid.
In terms of soft candies that you can enjoy with braces, below are a few suggestions:
- Stuffed Puffs – These marshmallows are soft, and chewy but do not stick to your teeth as easily. And they have a delicious chocolate center.
- Jello Cups – So, Jello Cups are not prepared the same way as traditional soft candy. But they can be a delicious substitute that does not threaten the integrity of your braces.
What Sour Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
For the most part, sour candies should be totally avoided in order to maintain your braces properly. This has got to do with a couple of properties of sour candies.
First, most sour candies are chewy and sticky – two properties that you want to avoid in candies. They can easily get into small crevices and in between the wirings.
Second, sour candies derive their flavors from a mixture of dried acids. Usually, it is a combination that contains two or more of the following chemicals – tartaric acid, malic acid, citric acid, and fumaric acid.
As such, it is best to avoid all forms of sour candies altogether. So, items such as Sour Patches and Sour Skittles are completely off the table if you are wearing braces.
What Healthy Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
For many people, candy and health are two words that do not belong in the same sentence. But contrary to that belief, some candies are better for your health than others. Yes, candies typically tend to contain abundant sugar and artificial colors and flavors that do more harm than good.
But there are candy options that do not possess as many detrimental ingredients. Rather they have beneficial properties. One of the best examples would be dark chocolate. Several studies have shown that regularly eating dark chocolate helps with brain function, low blood pressure, reduces heart disease, and much more.
And there are several dark chocolate options you can try even with braces on. Similarly, there are other candies with some beneficial properties out there. Just make sure that the products do not have the following properties – sticky, gooey, very hard, and contain caramel.
- Cadbury Bournvile
- Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bites
- UnReal Milk Chocolate Gems – Instead of biting them, suck on them first to soften up the outer shell.
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Alter Eco Assorted Truffles
- Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars
- Theo Mint Chocolate Cookie Bites
- Smart Sweets Sweet Fish
What Fruity Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
Fruit-flavored candies are a great way to pass the time, especially during the summertime. They give you a refreshing and sweet reminder of the flavors of summer and the tropics. And there are many different brands of fruit-flavored candy available. Some are more suitable for a person with braces than others.
For example, Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers, and Airheads, all come in various fruit flavors and colors. But they all have the property of being extra chewy and sticky. Meaning they will likely get stuck between or around the brackets and damage your braces.
So, if you want to eat fruit flavored candy, make sure that they easily dissolve in the mouth. And here are a few suggestions in that regard:
- Chocolate Apples – Only after you cut the apple into smaller, more manageable pieces. Caramel apples are completely off the table. But chocolate apples can be enjoyed.
- Jello Cups
- Pixy Stix
- Zolli Drops
- Zolli PB Cups
- Fear Not!
How to Eat Candy with Braces?
Eating any food with braces can be difficult, especially at the beginning. So, here are a few tips on eating candy with braces:
Choose the Right Candy
You should be mindful of some aspects even if you choose the right product. That’s why I made a cheat sheet for you. Here is the list of the candies you can eat with braces.
|Type of Candy||Options|
|Hard Candy (lick them, do not bite them)||M&Ms|
|Chocolate Candy||Kit Kat |
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Cadbury Dairy Milk
York Peppermint Pattie
Andes Chocolate Mints
Lindt’s White Chocolate
Galaxy Smooth Milk
Mars Chocolate Bar
Cadbury Turkish Delight
Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate
Bouchard Premium Belgian Dark Chocolate
Sugar-free Bubble Gum
|Soft Candy||Stuffed Puffs|
Pearson’s Mint Patties
|Healthy Candy||Cadbury Bournville Dark Chocolate|
Endangered Species Dark Chocolate Bites
UnReal Milk Chocolate Gems
Theo Mint Chocolate Cookie Bites
Unreal Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars
Alter Eco Assorted Truffles
|Fruity Candy||Sliced Chocolate Apples (with no caramel)|
Zolli Peanut Butter Cups
Lindt’s fruit-flavored chocolate bars
Kit Kat Strawberry
Ghirardelli Raspberry Dark Chocolate
Ring Pops (do not bite it)
Take Smaller Bites
Chocolate bars and peanut butter cups are ideal in this scenario. But instead of taking a huge bite all at once, try taking smaller bites. This will give you plenty of space to chew properly without exerting too much force. If you are eating large marshmallows, cut them into smaller pieces first.
This will put less pressure on your jaws and teeth. Finishing a candy bar may end up taking more time. But you get to take your time and really enjoy the candy and there is nothing wrong with that!
Chew with Your Back Teeth
Your front teeth have less surface area to chew compared to your back teeth. Your back teeth are also sturdier as they have more support. So, when you just start with braces, try to avoid biting or chewing with your front set of teeth. You can place the candy on your tongue to suck or slowly chew through it.
Brush Your Teeth After Each Sugar Break
This is applicable regardless of having any braces put on. With very few exceptions, candy has a lot of sugar in them. And the longer you do not brush after eating one, the more time you give the sugar to wreak havoc on your teeth. So, after you have your sweets, gently brush your teeth a few minutes after.
Which Candies to Avoid with Braces?
Braces are typically made out of metal, which gives them noticeable strength and durability. But they are not impenetrable. And something as seemingly harmless as a piece of Tootsie Roll can damage the equipment or hamper its function. So, you have to be alert when eating or buying candy with braces on. Here are some aspects of candy you need to consider:
Many people like the feeling of biting into a very hard piece of candy. But if you were one of them and you have braces on, you might want to think again. The pressure of biting into these treats can loosen the wirings of the braces. Plus, they can get stuck in between the different parts.
Some popular hard candies you should avoid are:
- Jolly Ranchers
- Lollipops and Candy Canes – you can lick them, but do not bite them.
- Candy Brittle
Caramel is sort of the nemesis of dental braces. They are sticky and corrosive to your teeth. When you eat caramel, removing them becomes very difficult later on. As such, it is best to avoid caramel-based chocolate until you remove the braces completely. So, you should avoid items such as:
- Caramel Apple
- Caramel Taffy
- Werther’s Caramel Bits
- Brach’s Caramel
Gummy bears and similar candy products are a particular favorite among kids. But such products easily stick to the braces and can cause damage. And while trying to remove the gummy product, you may end up popping one of the brackets off. As such, it is best to avoid the following candies:
- Haribo’s Gummy Bears
- Black Forrest’s Gummy Bears
- Gummy Worms
Candies that Contain Nuts
At first glance, you may think nuts are not that hard. And while some nuts are soft, others are not. And many sweet treats contain coated nuts, which only increases the toughness of the nuts. And just like hard candies, the nuts may damage your braces or alter their placement. Here are a few examples:
- Almond Joy
- Reese’s Nutrageous
- Peanut brittle
- Mr. Goodbar
Popcorns and Pretzels
Popcorn, especially the candy variety or ones that contain caramel, should be avoided. As with the chewy candies, these can get stuck to unwanted parts of the braces. And the same logic applies to pretzels, which often have a caramel coating.
Frozen Chocolate Bars
We have previously mentioned that chocolate bars are one of the best candies you can eat with braces. But you still have to be careful of a couple of scenarios. First, you should avoid chocolate bars that contain significant caramels or pieces of nuts.
Second, chocolate bars can be hard, especially if they have been in the fridge for a very long time. And biting into this bar would be akin to biting a hard candy. So, you should let the bar thaw out a bit after you take it out from the fridge.
What Halloween Candy Can You Eat with Braces?
Hershey Bar, Reece’s Peanut Butter cups, Pixy Stix, 3 Musketeers, and Peppermint Patties, are some of the popular Halloween candies you can enjoy even with braces. You can also enjoy Halloween themed cookies and wafers. But avoid candies with caramel, nuts, or a hard shell.
Can You Eat Cotton Candy with Braces?
You can eat cotton candy with braces on. Cotton candy or Fairy Floss is a popular treat in carnivals, circuses, and recreational parks. This is made almost entirely of sugar. But the sugar is so light that it melts in your mouth pretty quickly. Just remember to eat small portions at a time and put it directly onto your tongue so that it melts.
Can You Eat Airheads with Braces?
You should avoid eating Airheads with braces. Airheads are a brand of taffy candy made by the Dutch-Italian company Perfetti Van Melle. Taffy can very easily stick to problematic areas around your braces. This makes it harder to clean and easier for bacteria to grow.
Can You Eat Gummy Worms with Braces?
You should not eat Gummy Worms or any other gummy type of candy while wearing braces. Because these items easily accumulate around the braces and may be hard to clean properly. So, if you happen to get such treats while trick-or-treating, just give them someone who is not wearing braces.
Can You Eat Starbursts with Braces?
Starburst is a line of box-shaped and fruit-flavored taffy-like candy. And while their vibrant colors look appealing, especially to kids, you should not have them or give them to anyone with braces. Taffy can get in between the wirings of the braces and damage your teeth.
Can You Eat M&Ms with Braces?
While you can eat M&Ms if you are cautious, it is still best to check in with your orthodontist before you try some. M&Ms consist of a chocolate center that is covered by a hard candy shell. And though the chocolate is pretty safe for your braces, the crunchy shell on the outside may not be.
Can You Eat Kit Kat with Braces?
You can definitely eat Kit Kat with braces. This popular line of candy consists of crispy wafers coated in chocolate and other flavors. So, they pose little threat to your braces. Just make sure that you chew the candy with your back teeth. Plus, clean your teeth thoroughly after you had one.
Can You Eat Skittles with Braces?
You should restrain yourself from Skittles while wearing any braces. They may look very similar to M&Ms on the outside. But Skittles have a chewier texture compared to M&Ms, which makes them more of a threat to your teeth and dental equipment. So, even if you can have M&Ms, you should stay away from Skittles.
Can You Eat Jolly Ranchers with Braces?
Jolly Rancher is a brand of American sweets that manufactures hard candy, jelly beans, sour bites, and lollipops. And most, if not all, of these items are bad for your braces. You can probably get away by only sucking on their lollipop. But it is better to avoid Jolly Rancher candies altogether.
Can You Eat Sour Patch with Braces?
Sour patch is another type of chewy candy that you should avoid while wearing braces. Also, they contain a mixture of different acidic powders as a coating to give them their trademark sour taste. This can also lead to damaged braces.
Can You Eat Sweet Tarts with Braces?
SweeTarts is a line of candy that consists of gum, taffy, and little chewy candy in the shape of various animals and other objects. Since they are so chewy, you should avoid eating them with braces. The candy can get in between the metal brackets, which will be difficult to clean or remove.
Can You Eat Marshmallows with Braces?
You can have marshmallows and similar products even while wearing braces. Because, unlike most chewy candy products, marshmallows are not sticky as well. Like cotton candy, they melt quickly in your mouth. So, you can have a few pieces of marshmallows without worry.
Can You Eat Peeps with Braces?
Peeps is a line of marshmallows that are made in different shapes such as chicks, ducks, and other animals. Marshmallows can be chewy but they do not stick to your teeth as easily. Rather they melt away after a while. And Peeps’ unique design makes them one of the best treats you can give to children with braces.
Can You Eat S’mores with Braces?
S’mores are a popular treat during the summertime consisting of a marshmallow and chocolate center that is sandwiched by two graham crackers. And as long as you only take a bit at a time, you can safely eat smores even with braces. So, you can still go on that camping trip and not miss out on the whole experience.
Can You Eat Cookie Dough with Braces?
You can eat cookie dough and regular cookies with braces. But be careful of any nuts or similar hard ingredients in the cookie. Also, avoid cookies that are super hard and crispy. They may cause too much pressure on the brackets and damage your braces.
To conclude, eating candy with braces on can be a challenge. But if you know which ones to avoid and which ones to choose, you can satiate your sweet tooth without compromising your dental health. Here is the table that can also help you when choosing the right candy to eat with braces.
|Candy||Can you eat it?|
|M&Ms||Possibly; check with your orthodontist.|