Another Valentine’s Day is upon us. If you or your special someone has braces, you may be at a loss about how to celebrate with so much candy going around. While it is true that there are quite a few restrictions placed on eating when you have braces, you may be surprised at how many delicious treats you CAN enjoy. No need to worry; docbraces has your back! Here are some tips for treats and activities that every braces-wearer can enjoy. But first:
Show Your Braces Some Love This Valentine’s Day by Avoiding These Treats
When you have braces, eating the types of candy and food that are known to damage braces means taking the chance of lengthening your orthodontic treatment.
Candies that need to be avoided:
- Sticky and/or crunchy candy
- Candy bars containing cookies, nougat, nuts, caramel, toffee or any other crunchy ingredient
- M&M’s (plain and peanut varieties)
- Fun Dip
- Tootsie rolls (original and flavoured)
- Conversation hearts
Valentine’s Day Treats for Every Braces-Wearer
Although we know you must avoid eating hard and/or sticky candies, there are a variety of candies that will not cause harm to braces.
Acceptable candies include:
- While chocolates with chewy, sticky centres, toffee and/or nuts must be avoided, chocolates and truffles that have soft centres are a good option
- Peanut butter cups and fun-sized, braces-approved candy bars are good options
- Plain chocolate that melts in the mouth is ideal (but avoid the thick chocolate that needs to be bitten into, such as a large, solid chocolate heart like those with the consistency of the solid chocolate rabbits available for Easter)
- Cake, soft cookies and cupcakes that don't contain any type of nuts
- Ice cream, as long as it doesn't contain nuts, pieces of candy, caramel or hard pieces of chocolate
- Hershey’s Kisses
- Jell-O/gelatin desserts
- Chocolate-covered strawberries. If you choose to purchase chocolate-covered strawberries from a company and have them delivered, just make sure that the strawberries you send don't have any candies or nuts included on the outside of the chocolate shell.
Baked Valentine’s Day Treats:
You Can Make Heart-Shaped Cupcakes and You Don't Need a Special Pan!
Heart-shaped cupcakes are easy to make. Use a strawberry or vanilla cake mix (coloured red using food colouring) and just use one glass marble to hold the cupcake liner in the shape of a heart while baking. Avoid overfilling the liners, otherwise your heart shape won't be present after baking.
Brightly Coloured, Heart-Shaped Jell-O/Gelatin Cookies — Without a Cookie Cutter!
You don't even need a heart-shaped cookie cutter to create these colourful cookies!
What You'll Need:
- 2/3 cup of butter (softened)
- 1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 small boxes of Jell-O/gelatin — different colours
- Food colouring — matching the Jell-O/gelatin colours used
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Line baking sheets with a baking mat or parchment paper.
Making the dough:
- Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- While mixing, add eggs one at a time.
- Add vanilla.
- Add salt, flour and baking soda, combine well.
- Separate the dough equally into four bowls.
- Add ½ a tablespoon of a different colour/flavour of Jell-O/gelatin into each bowl of dough.
- Using your hands, mix each bowl of dough until the Jell-O/gelatin colour is even throughout (you can wear powder-free gloves for this step if you want to avoid dying your hands different colours). While using your hands to mix, with or without gloves, make sure to rinse in between colours, otherwise, colour purity could be affected.
- Add 3 to 4 drops of the food colouring that matches the Jell-O/gelatin colour in each of the bowls.
- Create balls of dough.
- Roll balls in white sugar (do not use the coarse sugar).
- Place rolled balls of dough onto the cookie sheet.
- Use a glass cup to flatten the balls.
- Create the heart shape by pinching the bottom of each flattened ball to make the triangle at the bottom.
- Use the point of a knife to cut out a 'v' in the centre at the top.
It's Time to Bake:
- Bake 8 to 10 minutes on the middle rack (when they are done, the bottoms will be slightly brown).
- Let the cookies cool a minute or two before moving them to a cooling rack.
- To keep your cookies soft, let them cool all the way and just store them in an airtight container.
Since these are so colourful, you don’t even need to frost them!
You Could Always Forget the Candy and Schedule a Fun Activity Instead:
- If you want to skip the sugar this Valentine’s Day, go to dinner and a film (without any popcorn)
- Purchase a gift certificate for something you know your special someone would never purchase for themselves (e.g., a pedicure, manicure, visit to a professional hair stylist, etc.)
- Throw a surprise Valentine’s Day party and only offer braces-friendly candies
- Create a Valentine’s Day themed craft and/or card
- If there is an activity you know your Valentine enjoys, surprise him or her with a ‘date’ performing that activity (e.g., indoor miniature golf, visit to a museum/aquarium, go to an indoor activity/go-cart centre, etc.)
Valentine’s Day Tips for the Invisalign Wearer
If you wear Invisalign, you can still eat all the treats that you did before you started your orthodontic treatment, however, remember to rinse your mouth well after eating those sugary treats and then brush. Remember to put your Invisalign tray back in your mouth because, to achieve maximum effectiveness, it needs to be worn at least 22 hours a day.
Our team of orthodontic specialists takes pride in staying up to date on the latest treatment methods and technology. Every day, we deliver exceptional care in a fun, welcoming environment that makes our patients feel a part of the docbraces family.
With locations across Canada, we are proud to be a part of the communities where we work, live and play. Our goal is to make orthodontics accessible for everyone, and through our flexible payment plans, expert staff and spirited care, we are creating confident smiles that last a lifetime.
If you think that you or your child may need orthodontic treatment, we invite you to book a consultation.