At Fresh Orthodontics, my team and I use modern braces. They’re smaller and more comfortable than those of the past and have minimal interference in your day-to-day life. Usually, you’ll barely notice you’re wearing them. That said, there is one time of year when braces patients can feel a little left out: Halloween. Yup, a holiday filled with sticky, chewy candy.
Well, as a Brooklyn orthodontist, I’m here to tell you that you can absolutely still enjoy the spooky season when you have braces. Yes, you’ll have to steer clear of some common Halloween candy, but there’s plenty you can eat and do to celebrate. To prove it, I put together a guide to having a braces-friendly Halloween in Brooklyn.
First Up, The Treats
What Halloween foods should I avoid with braces?
As you probably know, eating really hard, chewy, or sticky foods can break a braces bracket or bend a wire. To prevent this, there are foods to avoid until your braces come off, including a number of common Halloween treats.
Some of the candy you can’t eat eat with braces includes:
- Sour Patch Kids
- Laffy Taffy
- Caramel apples
- Candy with nuts
What candy can you eat with braces?
Now for the good news: the treats and Halloween candy you can eat with braces:
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Plain chocolate without nuts (i.e., Hershey’s bar, Hershey’s Kisses, etc.)
- Pixy Sticks
- Three Musketeers
- Kit Kat Bars (break into small pieces before eating)
- Plain M&Ms (chew with your back teeth)
- Reese’s Pieces (chew with your back teeth)
- Apple cider
- Soft cookies without nuts
- Ice cream
- Cakes and cupcakes
Local Places to Get Halloween Costumes
Still haven’t decided on a Halloween costume? Here’s where you can get one:
- Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co. (372 5th Ave) – This beloved Brooklyn kids’ store carries everything a superhero could need for Halloween or any time of year, including costumes. The best part? Proceeds from all sales benefit 826NYC, a nonprofit dedicated to helping kids unlock the power of writing.
- L Train Vintage (Various Locations) – L Train Vintage is a family-run thrift store that gets new merchandise several times a week. Grab some thrifted pieces to put together a one-of-a-kind costume.
- Spirit Halloween (625 Atlantic Ave) – The superstore has tons of kids’ Halloween costumes, as well as accessories and decorations.
- Unearth Vintage (159 Smith St) – This Cobble Hill vintage store specializes in statement thrift finds, some of which could make for the perfect DIY Halloween costume (how about recreating one of the best braces moments in pop culture history?)
- Halloween City (464 Fulton St) – You’ll find an endless assortment of costumes and party supplies.
Halloween Events in Brooklyn
As for where to celebrate, there are so many fun things to do in Brooklyn for Halloween 2022, whether you have braces or not. Head to:
Greg’s Great Pumpkin Patch at Domino Park (15 River St)
Domino Park has been transformed into an enormous pumpkin patch. The field near the old Domino factory is filled with over a thousand pumpkins. There are also character cutouts for pictures, pumpkin painting, a hay maze for young kids, and fall decor. The pumpkin patch is open daily from 9am to 9pm through October 31 and admission is free.
Halloween With the Brooklyn Public Library (multiple locations)
The Brooklyn Public Library has free Halloween kids’ activities, including movie nights, crafts, storytimes, and parties. Check the schedule at your local branch or see the full schedule here.
Fall Block Party at Vale Park (111 N. 12th St, Brooklyn)
This annual Williamsburg fall block party is back! Kids can dress up for a costume parade, enjoy fall treats, and pick and paint pumpkins in the urban pumpkin patch. Admission is free but RSVPs are requested. Pets Day will be held on Saturday, October 15 (bring Fido and visit the adoption booth) and Kids Day will be held on Saturday, October 22. Both days run from 1 to 5pm.
Harvest Festival at Brooklyn Bridge Park (Pier 6)
There are always exciting, free things to do with kids at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Halloween is no exception. On Saturday, October 22 from 11am to 4pm, celebrate the changing of seasons at the Harvest Festival sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. The event will feature arts and crafts, lawn games, a pumpkin patch, storytelling, and more!
Bay Ridge Halloween Festival (5th Ave from 75th to 82nd St)
This big fall festival will be held on seven car-free blocks on 5th avenue in Bay Ridge on Friday October 28 from 6 to 9pm. Admire the decorated houses on the side streets or grab a bite at a local restaurant. Then, take the kids to the block party where there will be music, a bouncy house, pumpkin decorating, Trunk-or-Treat, and arts and crafts. The event is free and kids are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes.
BKLYN BOO! at Albee Square (Fulton & Bond St)
Downtown Brooklyn will present BKLN BOO! on Saturday, October 29 from 2 to 5pm. Enjoy live music, performances, and prizes at the free, family-friendly event.
Haunted Carousel at Prospect Park (425 Flatbush Ave)
Take a spooky ride on the Prospect Park Carousel on Saturday, October 29 from 12 to 5pm. The horses will be dressed up and the carousel will be playing your favorite Halloween songs. The cost is $3 per ride or $13 for a book of five tickets. It’s free for those with a Prospect Park Alliance Family Supporter membership or higher.
Creepy Crawly Halloween at Prospect Park (Audubon Center)
On Sunday, October 30 from 1 to 4pm, join the Prospect Park Alliance at the Audubon Center for special Halloween activities. The free family event will introduce kids to “creepy” creatures and give them the chance to participate in activities and experiments. Discovery boxes will also be available from 1 to 4pm. On the docket:
- Owl Pellet Dissection – 1 to 3pm
- Nature Chef’s Surprise – 1 to 3pm
- Creepy Crawly Walk – 2 to 3pm
- Animal Encounter – 3 to 4pm
BAMboo! (30 Lafayette Ave)
Start Halloween off right with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). BAMboo!, a free Halloween party, will be held on Monday, October 31 starting at 4pm. Attendees can dance to family-friendly music and take part in candy giveaways, arts and crafts, carnival games, and more!
Park Slope Halloween Parade (7th Ave and 14th St to 5th Ave and 3rd St)
Of course, the Fresh Orthodontics team is partial to the Park Slope Halloween Parade, one of the biggest children’s Halloween marches in the country! This year’s parade will be held on Monday, October 31 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. Marchers will line up at 6pm. Participation is open to all and free! Local merchants will be handing out candy during the procession.
Halloween Braces Care Tips
With all of the Halloween activities, it’s important to care for your braces to keep your appliance and smile in top-notch shape. Here are some tips to ensure your treatment stays on track:
- Brush your teeth after eating with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste. Give every tooth a bit of TLC and pay extra attention around your braces brackets.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Use a fluoride mouthwash for added protection. Swishing with mouthwash after brushing and flossing will help wash away any plaque (or candy) you missed.
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking water stimulates saliva production, which is important for remineralizing your enamel. It also helps rinse your teeth and braces and prevents dry mouth.
- Bring a braces kit with you when you’re out celebrating. Consider including a travel toothbrush and toothpaste, interproximal brushes to dislodge food bits and clean tight spaces, and braces wax. If you forget your kit, rinse your mouth out really well after having a treat and brush your teeth when you get home.
- Balance the sugary foods and drinks with a well-rounded, healthy diet. In between treats, try to snack on things that are low in sugar and carbohydrates, so the cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth aren’t constantly having a feeding frenzy.
- If you do experience a loose or broken bracket on your braces or a poking wire, follow our braces emergency instructions to troubleshoot the problem.
- For our Park Slope braces patients, give us a call if you have any questions about what you can eat with braces or treatment in general. We’re always happy to help!
Treat Yourself to a Sweet New Smile
Have a happy, safe, and braces-friendly Halloween!
Not a patient yet? Schedule a complimentary consultation at Fresh Orthodontics in Park Slope to get personalized treatment recommendations for yourself or your child. We offer different types of braces and clear aligners, ensuring you can find the teeth-straightening solution that fits your lifestyle.