People with braces must avoid hard, sticky, chewy and sugary food in order to protect their teeth. Because they can't have traditional Easter candies such as jellybeans and marshmallow chicks, kids with braces may feel left out. You can help them feel included by filling their Easter baskets with braces-safe candy and other treats.
Video of the Day
Because chocolate is soft, it's safe for kids with braces—as long as they don't eat too much of it and brush their teeth thoroughly after eating it. Avoid chocolate with nuts, raisins, caramel or other chewy or sticky ingredients; stick to the traditional chocolate bunnies and eggs, as well as crisped rice or other braces-safe chocolate additions.
Baked goods, such as brownies and cupcakes, are safe for kids with braces as long as they remain nut free. Try baking reduced-sugar cupcakes by replacing part of the sugar in a recipe with a sugar substitute; this will help make the cupcakes better for kids with braces, but keep some of the taste and texture of regular baked goods. Write “Happy Easter” or draw Easter designs on the cupcakes using icing, but not too much, to avoid the added sugar.
While some orthodontists advise people with braces to avoid all kinds of chewing gum, others recommend chewing sugar-free gum after eating sugars or starches to help prevent acids produced by bacteria from harming the teeth. Sticky bubble gum and sugared gum are still out, but sugar-free chewing gum is a safe addition to Easter baskets for kids with braces, and it may help counteract the effects of their Easter candy.
Kids with braces won't miss the lack of Easter candy as much if you replace some of the unacceptable candy with other treats, such as gift cards, books, nail polish, card games or CDs. If you have children who don't have braces, though, make sure the balance of treats is the same in all the baskets; otherwise fights are sure to break out when one child gets a $10 gift card and a CD and the other just gets heaps of jelly beans.