The Lollipop Dilemma: Can You Eat Lollipops with Braces?

April 02, 2024

Introduction:

Although treatment plans are customized for each patient, most people wear their braces for one to three years depending on the conditions that need correcting. This is followed by a period of wearing a retainer that holds the teeth in their new positions. Although a little discomfort is expected during treatment, today's braces are more comfortable than ever before. Newer materials apply a constant, gentle force to move teeth and usually require fewer adjustments.
Good oral hygiene is especially important for people wearing braces. Brushing regularly, as directed by the dentist, flossing daily, and scheduling dental visits can help keep teeth healthy.


Every brace-face out there knows the drill. Avoid popcorn, skip the gum, and steer clear of caramel. But when it comes to sweet, hard candies like lollipops, the waters get murky. So, can you eat lollipops with braces? Let's sink our teeth into this juicy topic, shall we?

Can You Eat Lollipops with Braces?
Well, to cut to the chase, it's a bit complicated. While it's not like signing a death warrant for your braces, lollipops pose potential risks.

  • Stick to Softness: The chewy center of some lollipops could be a brace's worst nightmare. But, here's a silver lining, if you're sucking on it without biting, you're likely on the safe side.

  • Coloring Concerns: If the lollipop has dark coloring, it might stain your braces. This is not the end of the world, but let's face it – who wants rainbow-colored braces?

  • Sugary Suspicions: Lollipops, like most candies, contain heaps of sugar. The longer sugar stays in contact with your teeth, the more chances of cavities. And with braces, cleaning is a tougher row to hoe

  • The following types of candies are things you should make an effort to avoid if you are wearing braces:

    • Peanut and Almond M&M’s, Skittles, and other little round candies – Many of these candies are either hard or sticky and thus should be avoided.  Hard things are likely to cause damage to your appliances and sticky stuff can lead to damage to the teeth and/or pull cement out of the bands.
    • Various types of brittle – these candies are super crunchy and sticky.
    • Anything with popcorn – the shells of popcorn can easily work their way down into the gums and cause significant discomfort and even infections.
    • Jelly beans
    • Gummy candies
    • Starbursts
    • Taffy
    • Caramels
    • Hard candy and lollipops (If you bite them)
    • Jelly beans, caramel, taffy, skittles, and other sticky candy foods are hard to clean off your teeth. having attachments gives them more places to lodge between teeth. 

Safe Candy Choices for Braced Beaus and Belles:
Everyone needs a sweet escape now and then, especially in the tumultuous teenage years dominated by orthodontic woes. But, fear not! Here's a list of some braces-friendly candies:

  1. Soft chocolates
  2. Marshmallows
  3. Gelatin-based candies

"Life is short, eat dessert first." – Jacques Torres

Dangers of Hard Candies:
Hold your horses before diving into that candy jar!

Candy comes in several forms, but it’s all the same when you consider eating candy with braces. From hard, mint-like candies, to sticky toffee and gooey chocolate bars, candy does a number on your braces, regardless of its form.

The first category of candy that should be avoided is hard candy. If bitten into or chewed, hard candy can break your brackets or bend your wires, which can become very costly to repair. If small particles of the candy get stuck in your teeth, this can also cause tooth decay and cavities

More often than not, the bracket or band will succumb to the force it takes to eat the candy, and it will break or pop off. When a bracket or band becomes loose, your orthodontic treatment comes to a screeching halt until you can see your orthodontist and have the problem repaired. For most patients, a loose band or bracket will set their treatment back one to two months.

  • Breaking the Brackets: Hard candies can lead to a catastrophe. How? By breaking the brackets, or worse, bending the wires.

  • Sticky Situations: Even if the candy doesn't break your braces, it might get stuck. And, boy oh boy, extracting them can be trickier than finding a needle in a haystack.

  • Chewy candyThe sticky texture means they can grab onto a bracket and pull it off if enough force is involved, and this can be very painful for the patient. Eating these types of candies can also make it more difficult to clean the surfaces of your teeth.
  • Any type of crunchy foods may cause your braces to break or cause damage to your wires. 

Alternative Sweet Solutions:
Not all hope is lost, folks! When lollipops become a no-go, here are some delectable alternatives:

  • Smoothies – A taste of heaven, without the brace-breaking risk.
  • Puddings – Silky, sweet, and safe! 
  • Ice cream – A cold treat to beat the heat, and brace-friendly too! Ice cream is soft and melts in your mouth, making it a fantastic dessert to feed your braces. Again, there are things to be wary of, including ice cream with chunks of chocolate, candy, or other hard foods mixed in.
  • Soft cookies-Sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and snickerdoodles are all great desserts - If they're soft. If you add toppings to the sugar cookie, it is recommended to add only frosting and not use sprinkles and nuts. It is also recommended not to overbake the cookies, if overbaked, maybe break one in half before eating it to see if it's too hard for your teeth. 
  • Other soft foods include oatmeal, scrambled eggs, soups, pasta, seafood, soft vegetables, mashed potatoes, soft cheese, Bananas, Yogurt, and Ice-cream which are safe to eat with braces. 

The Orthodontist's Orders:

Sometimes you can’t resist the temptation of all the candy that is around during Halloween. If you happen to eat some candy you shouldn’t and you damage the wires or brackets of your braces, call your orthodontist’s office and let them know.  Many times, damage and breakage can lead to slowing down treatment as well as additional visits to the office, so it is important to follow instructions.

Depending on when your next appointment is, the office may set up an emergency appointment to fix your braces. If your next appointment is fairly soon and you aren’t in any pain or discomfort, you may be able to wait.


Orthodontists aren't just killjoys out to steal your candy. They're more like guardian angels, keeping your teeth safe. So, when they say avoid hard candies, they're not just blowing smoke.

  • Heed Their Advice: Sure, they might seem strict, but they're just looking out for your best interests.

  • Routine Check-ups: Regular visits can help spot any candy-induced problems before they blow out of proportion.

  • Brushing and flossing remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth. If plaque is not removed regularly, it can lead to caries.
  • Patients with braces should maintain a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks. Your dentist may recommend avoiding certain foods that could interfere with braces or accidentally bend the wires. These foods may include nuts, popcorn, hard candy, ice, and sticky foods like chewing gum, caramel, or other chewy candy.

FAQs:

  1. Can you eat lollipops with braces without biting into them?
    Yes, if you resist the urge to bite, you're likely safe.

  2. What other candies should be avoided with braces?
    Popcorn, gum, and caramel top the naughty list.

  3. How often should I clean my braces after eating candy?
    After every sweet session. Remember, cleanliness is next to godliness!

  4. Do sugar-free candies pose the same risks?
    They might be better for your teeth, but the hardness can still be hazardous for braces.

  5. How to manage candy cravings with braces?
    Opt for braces-friendly candies or the alternative sweet solutions listed above.

  6. What to do if a lollipop damages my braces?
    Panic not! Reach out to your orthodontist pronto.

Conclusion:

In general, avoid foods that are chewy, crunchy, hard, and sticky. While that may eliminate a lot of your favorites, don’t despair, because the above desserts are great, braces or not! Do keep in mind that all desserts should be eaten in moderation, not only for your braces but for your teeth and overall health as well. 


Life with braces isn't a cakewalk. But with a sprinkle of caution and a dollop of awareness, you can navigate the candy landmines with ease. So, can you eat lollipops with braces? Yes, but tread carefully. And when in doubt, remember: it's better to be safe than sorry.