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Halloween Is a Nightmare on Any Street for Orthodontists

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Monday is typically a busy day for orthodontists. Monday after this weekend will be ghoulish. This year, Halloween is on a Friday and you can believe the clinical assistant on-call is dreading weekend duty.


No matter how much education patients receive about forbidden foods, snacks, and candies, they throw caution to the wind at Halloween. Many will even postpone beginning treatment or having brackets placed after the holiday so they can have one last hoorah with their favorite treats.


Some orthodontists charge for replacement of brackets due to the patient’s failure to follow the rules. Charges will depend on the number of brackets requiring replacement. An orthodontist will have emergency repairs built into the schedule but replacing a bracket is not an emergency. More serious repairs should occupy these stations and the office’s time.


Parents are asked to curtail as much as possible, if not altogether, their child’s eating of hard, crunchy, chewy, sticky treats. The office may not be able to schedule a repair for weeks and this can interfere with the progress of your child’s orthodontic treatment.


A few things that you may wish to look into before kids are allowed to dive into their treats:


  • Orthodontists and dentists have a Candy Buy Back Program just for Halloween. A patient is typically paid one dollar per pound for candy they bring to the office. Some will send the candy to our troops and others will use it as a treat when braces are removed.


  • Donate the candy to shelters or group homes where children are away from their family


  • The chocolate bars are usually okay to eat as it can melt in your mouth. Be extra careful if nuts are in the candy.


  • Call assisted living homes to see if the elderly can enjoy a treat


  • Make treats for postal workers. Don’t forget your own mail carrier.


  • Take the candy to the recruiting offices of the armed forces in your town. Don’t forget the National and Coast Guards.


  • Treat yourself and share with others. Think of how happy others will be by your simple yet caring gesture.


I’m trying to help you out and your orthodontic staff. Trick-or-Treat treats are not good for teeth in braces. Also, it’s no treat to fall behind in your treatment. The trick is to help yourself and others.


My clients reward their patients with movie tickets for not breaking brackets during treatment. At Halloween, the treat is doubled!


By the way, October is National Orthodontic Health Month! Halloween can be sweet, just be selective with your treats. Be safe and have fun!

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