Summer flew by this year, as usual, and now we’re quickly diving into Fall! The trees are starting to turn those beautiful autumn colours and everywhere you go people are starting to get into the Thanksgiving and Halloween spirit.
October is recognized in Canada and the U.S. as National Orthodontic Month. This month we celebrate your beautiful , healthy smile, the biggest benefit of your orthodontic treatment! With Halloween at the end of the month, October also provides us the opportunity to raise awareness regarding orthodontic care, which plays as important role in dental health and overall physical health. Good oral hygiene during orthodontic treatment helps your teeth respond better to the gentle force from orthodontic wires, whereas braces that are covered in sticky candy or plaque make it much more difficult for teeth to move, as it causes increased inflammation on the gums.
The most obvious concern of Halloween are the treats. Here is a list, as a reminder, of what to avoid so you don’t do damage or pull off a bracket or wire:
- Super chewy candy, like taffy and caramels
- Beef Jerky and other leathery food treats
- Bubble gum
- Jelly beans
- Hard candies like candy canes and lollipops
- Popcorn and nuts
Don’t worry, we aren’t here just to tell you what not to eat! We understand that Halloween is an exciting time to dress up and celebrate with friends and family- and of course, delicious treats. Here are some recommendations of orthodontic friendly treats:
- Soft, melt in your mouth chocolates
- Peanut butter cups
- Milk shakes
- Peeled, thinly slices apples (don’t bite off with your front teeth)
- Ice cream
Here are a couple of braces friendly recipes to try!
Pumpkin Cookie Pops
Pumpkin shaped cookies on a stick are a nice change from the usual cookie
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup canned or fresh cooked pumpkin
1 tablespoon orange zest
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
20 wooden sticks (tongue depressors or Popsicle sticks work best)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer beat the butter, brown sugar and orange zest. Add the
pumpkin, egg yolk and vanilla, and blend.
3. Gradually add the flour and spices. Mix with your hands to create a soft dough. Wrap in plastic and
refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Divide dough into two portions. Roll out each piece to 1/4-inch thickness on a floured surface. Cut into
pumpkin shapes with cookie cutters.
5. Place on ungreased baking sheet and securely insert a wooden stick into the bottom half of each
6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Decorate with your favorite frosting and Halloween décor.
Frightful Finger Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup almond slices
1 tube red decorating gel
1 tube green food coloring
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Slowly beat in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add drops of green food coloring to dough until you achieve a nice deep green color.
Divide the dough into four equal parts, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.. Take one quarter of the dough at a time from the refrigerator. Break off one heaping teaspoonful and roll it into a finger shape. Squeeze in around the middle of the finger to create a knuckle shape. Then, using a butter knife, make indents in several places to resemble a finger. Repeat with rest of dough.
Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes – let cool. Then, squeeze red decorating gel onto the tip of each finger and gently press an almond sliver on top so the gel oozes out from underneath.
Remove cookies from baking sheets and let them cool on wire racks. Then serve and enjoy!
We want all or patients to have a fun and safe October and please remember to brush and floss your teeth really well after all the treats!