Valentine's week is here! We want everyone to celebrate love - especially loving your braces. Valentine's Day can be tough on those with braces, so I took a special trip to Target (twist my arm) to find out which treats to love and which to dump.
#1 Reese's Peanut Butter Hearts - Soft and melty, these are usually nice and easy on your braces. Bonus - a little bit of protein (peanut butter is healthy right?) to counteract the sugar.
#2 Hershey's Kisses - Soft and melty chocolates are generally okay. These should have minimal damage to your orthodontic appliances.
#3 Boxed Chocolates - For the most part, these are pretty safe. Fudge and nougat should be just fine, but stay clear of the toffee (too hard) and caramel (to sticky) ones. Request that your valentine get the kind with a handy chocolate identity guide in the box.
#4 Kit Kats - Soft for the most part, but the wafer crunch can be a little bit risky if you bite it too hard. Still safer that some of the choices to follow.
#5 M&M's - Although somewhat melty, the hard candy shell makes these a bit more dangerous than the previously mentioned chocolates. Eat with caution and stick to the softer chocolate if you can.
#6 Nerds - Hard and crunchy and full of sugar, these aren't your best choice. They are smaller than some of the other hard candy choices, so maybe a bit less likely to break a bracket.
#7 Lollipops - A lot of people ask me "Dr. Jill, what if I don't bite it?" That sounds good in theory, but most of us get to the end of that sucker and just can't help ourselves. The dreaded combo of both sticky and hard, lollys are are a no-y.
#8 Conversation Hearts - The classic Valentine's Day candy! Unfortunately, these are just too hard and crunchy to be safe for braces. Better to pass a "U R Cute" or "Tweet Me" to your secret crush and save yourself an extra trip to the orthodontist for repairs.
#9 Fun Dip - The flavored sugar crystals should not cause any breakage, but bathing your teeth in pure sugar is definitely putting you at high risk for cavities. And the too-tempting-to-not-bite dipping stick is hard and crunchy. This double dose of disaster makes it one of the worst choices for braces-wearers.
#10 Tootsie Rolls - SO sticky and SO sugary, these little treats are big-time bad even without braces. Avoid at all costs!