Syracuse Orthodontist Dr. Meharg on Halloween with Braces

October is National Orthodontic Health Month, a time when members of the American Association of Orthodontists provide the public with information about Orthodontics. This is very timely because October is one of the busiest months for orthodontists primarily because patients indulge themselves in treats that they should not be eating with braces. Hard, sticky, chewy candies can damage braces and other orthodontic appliances. This adds to patient discomfort and can prolong treatment. Below is a list of candies to avoid:

•       Caramel
•       Nuts
•       Popcorn
•       Taffy
•       Jelly beans
•       Hard pretzels
•       Licorice

Halloween should be fun for everyone including those currently in orthodontic treatment. Here is a list of treats that won’t damage braces.

•       Soft, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates
•       Peanut butter cups
•       Milk shakes
•       Gelatin
•       Peeled, thinly sliced apples
•       Ice cream

Each week from now until Halloween we will feature a “braces friendly recipe for treats to enjoy this Halloween season. Check out our first recipe at the bottom of this post for Frightful Finger Cookies.

Also, Franklin Square Orthodontics has a special October contest to help celebrate National Orthodontic Health Month.  Dr. Meharg contacted

Gary Adams, a parent of two former Franklin Square Orthodontics patients, to obtain a large pumpkin for the weight guessing contest.  We have a “Pacific Giant” pumpkin from his pumpkin fields in LaFayette NY.  Gary is a newcomer to pumpkin

farming and is becoming well known in the pumpkin growing world. He has been growing giant pumpkins and competing in contests for only two years and he’s getting better each year.  Last year, his largest pumpkin weighed just slightly more than 700 pounds.  This year he competed in a weigh off in Canton, Ohio and his giant pumpkin weighed in at 1471 pounds!

Next year, he plans on crossing seeds from two of his largest pumpkins to break both the state and world records. All of our patients are encouraged to guess the weight of the pumpkin. Whoever comes closest to guessing the actual weight will win a gift card from their choice of Target, iTunes, ect.

Here is our first recipe in our Halloween Series:

Frightful Finger Cookies

Makes: Approx 24 cookies

1     cup butter, softened

1     cup powdered sugar

1     egg

1     teaspoon almond extract

1     teaspoon vanilla extract

2 3/4 cups flour

1     teaspoon baking powder

1     teaspoon salt

1/4   cup almond slices, or whole almonds

1    tube red decorating gel

1    tube green food coloring (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Slowly beat in the flour, baking powder and salt. If you want green finger cookies, add drops of green food coloring to dough until you achieve a nice deep green color. Divide the dough into four equal parts, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Take one quarter of the dough at a time from the refrigerator. Break off one heaping teaspoonful and roll it into a finger shape. Squeeze in around the middle of the finger to create a knuckle shape. Then, using a butter knife, make indents in several places to resemble a finger. Repeat with rest of dough. Place cookies on a lightly greased baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes – let cool. Then, squeeze red decorating gel onto the tip of each finger and gently press an almond on top so the gel oozes out from underneath. Remove cookies from baking sheets and let them cool on wire racks.

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