Tips for Foods & Treats To Avoid on Halloween

It’s everyone’s favorite time of the year! Crunchy, brown leaves are falling from the trees. Chilly, crispy winds, and overcast gray skies. Folks are bundled up in hoodies and coats, sipping apple cider or hot chocolate. Halloween is right around the corner, and with it will come a vast assortment of sweet, sugary, gummy treats. While the Delplanche Orthodontics teams in both Beaverton and Lake Oswego want you to enjoy your Halloween, make a point not to get tricked! If you wear any kind of braces or a retainer, you need to exercise some caution with your candy. That’s why we’re here to let you know about tips for foods and treats to avoid for Halloween. 

Toss These Troublesome Treats 

It’s always good to see patients in our offices. But if you’re not coming in as part of your treatment protocol, then you might not necessarily be glad to see us. Sometimes you visit us because something is wrong. While we do look forward to your visits, let’s not let cumbersome candy be the reason you show up to our waiting room. Steer clear of sneaky snacks like: 

  • Hard, crunchy chips
  • Chewy candy (Tootsie Rolls, Starburst)
  • Caramels (Sugar Daddies, Sugar Babies)
  • Jelly beans
  • Caramel or candy apples
  • Jerky 
  • Suckers
  • Candy with nuts
  • Popcorn and popcorn balls
  • Gum
  • Hard candies (Nerds, Jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers)
  • Jelly candy (Swedish Fish, Dots, gummies)
  • Taffy

Crazy candies like these can grind or gum up your braces or retainer. That might not sound like a terribly big deal. But if the candy messes up your dental appliance, it could prevent it from working properly. Should that happen, it might undo some of the progress you’ve made while seeking treatment. Dr. Delplanche might have to intervene, fix the problem, and then extend your treatment plan. That means you might be wearing your braces or retainer for even longer! Yikes! That’s horrifying! 

Tips for Foods & Treats To Avoid on HalloweenGreen Light: These Treats Are All Good! 

Don’t feel bummed out! You can still dress up in your costume and go trick or treating. Or, attend your favorite party. And, yes, there are still some sweet victuals you can eat this Halloween. Just remember to sift through your candy haul before you start digging in. As you toss aside some candy from the above list, here are some we’re giving you the green light for. Anything on this list is just fine if you have braces or a retainer: 

  • Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Reese’s Fastbreaks bars
  • Ritz Bits mini crackers (with peanut butter or cheese)
  • KitKats (any flavor! Our favorite is white chocolate!)
  • Cheeze-Its
  • 3 Musketeers and other chocolate-only bars
  • Soft cookies (especially if homemade)
  • Cheese puffs

Instead of sticking suckers to your braces, stick with snacks from this list instead. Though it’s probably best to avoid all kinds of candy outright, we know you want to have fun on Halloween. By remembering which kinds of candy to eat, and which kinds to skip, you’ll keep your dental appliances in check. In so doing, you won’t have to rush into our office on one of the best days of the year. 

What’s In My Bag?

Have you ever played a game called “what’s in my bag?” The kinds of things a person brings with them can tell you a lot about them. To keep your braces safe, add one more game to your ghoulish season. Play “what’s in my bag” with your supply of Halloween candy. 

Before you shred wrappers and stuff your face with candy, take a deep breath. Dump out your candy bag, bucket, pillowcase, or whatever you used. Look at each individual piece of candy. Dr. Delplanche understands that this might take you a little bit longer. But in the long run, it will be worth it. 

If you find that some of your snack stash has stuff from the “AVOID” list (like Starburst, lollipops, or gum) put it aside. See if you can trade with your friends! Who knows, you might end up with an entire mountain of Kitkats all to yourself. And you can eat them without an ounce of guilt!

At Home Goodies 

Are there other options for sweeties? You bet your braces there are! If you’re not deadset on candy, here is one homemade recipe you can try. 

Spider Bites



  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 package black rope licorice, cut into thin 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small tube of white (or color of choice) frosting
  • Toothpicks


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine shortening, sugar, water and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Add eggs and blend.
  3. Slowly mix in flour, cocoa, salt and baking powder at low speed. Drop tablespoon helpings of mixture onto ungreased cookie sheets and roll each helping into a ball.
  4. Bake for 9 minutes. Let cookies cool for about 10 minutes.
  5. Using a toothpick, create four small holes in either side of each cookie, then push one end of a piece of the cut licorice into each hole, creating the “legs” of the spider.
  6. Once all eight legs are in place, create eyes or decorate at will using the white frosting.

For an entire book of dental-friendly recipes, check out The Braces Cookbook by Pamela Waterman. 

Tips for Foods & Treats To Avoid on HalloweenHappy Halloween From Delplanche Orthodontics

From our teams in Lake Oswego and Beaverton, the Delplanche Orthodontics team wishes you a Happy Halloween. Enjoy your candy! And when November rolls around, schedule a free consult