Create the Best TMD Easter Basket Ever in 2014!

Easter TMJ Basket

Easter is on April 20th this year. Let’s face it, Easter just isn’t the same without chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps and jellybeans to fill your family Easter baskets. So it probably won’t surprise you to learn that last year we spent over two billion dollars on Easter sweets and candies.

Of course, it goes without saying that too much sugar isn’t good for you. But for TMD patients, there is the added caution that some traditional holiday candies are simply off limits.

Are you left wondering how to make an Easter basket that’s festive, but won’t cause jaw pain? Luckily, not all holiday candy is off limits. This week, find out what the Easter bunny should bring and what he should avoid to make this the most TMD-friendly Easter ever.

The Creative Easter Basket

A newer trend more parents are embracing is the abandonment of sugary sweets altogether. Instead, give gift cards for iTunes, favorite restaurants or clothing stores. Games for mobile devices are another alternative. You can also fill Easter baskets with a medley of soothing bath products and soaps. The gift of movie tickets is another fun option that’s always appreciated. Tickets to concerts and sporting events are fail-safe ideas for fun.

For an older friend, give a lovely spray of Easter lilies or springtime flowers.

It’s Not Easter Unless There’s Candy

Whatever you do, don’t make an Easter basket exclusively filled with candy. Instead show restraint, and if you have to, place only a few sugary items in the basket. Here are our suggestion for chew-friendly sweets:

What Works

First the good news: marshmallow peeps (but only in moderation) are a TMD-friendly treat. The combination of sugar and fluffy marshmallow is easy on the jaw muscles. Chocolate Easter bunnies are another good option. Just make sure you do not buy a solid chocolate rabbit. Most bunnies are hollowed out in the center, and if cut into smaller morsels, thin slabs of chocolate can pleasantly melt in your mouth. Virtually no chewing is necessary.

What doesn’t work

Now for the bad news. Most of the other traditional Easter candies have features which can make them uncomfortable to chew. Cadbury crème eggs, for instance, have a soft fondant filling with texture similar to an egg yolk. But the hard milk chocolate shell makes them off limits. Jellybeans are another item that should be avoided. They are small and can be eaten individually but even just one jellybean at a time can require extensive chewing, leading to unwelcome jaw strain. Malted milk Easter eggs are another no-no. Their crunchy outer shell can spell disaster for even the most cautious chewers.

Be creative this Easter and move beyond the candy-filled basket. Got unique ideas? Join the conversation on Facebook.

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