If you’ve stepped foot into a grocery store in the last week, you are very well aware of what holiday is quickly approaching. As soon as you walk into just about any store, you’re immediately greeted by overflowing shelves of every Halloween candy you could possible think of. You know what else is overflowing? Cautious advice from your local dentist, and with good reason. If you’re not careful, all those sugary treats can end up playing some unwanted tricks on your oral health.
Here’s a look at some of the more common candies handed out on Halloween and how they might impact your teeth and gums, from the dental experts at MouthHealthy.org:
As one of the most popular Halloween candies, chocolate is probably one of your best options. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” said ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”
If it’s sticky, be picky. “This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty stated.
Use caution with these popular treats. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty said. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.”
My kids love sour candy, but because they are often sticky and coated in sugar, it might be best to pass. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” said Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
These sweet treats are a favorite and should be enjoyed with some floss on the side. “Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty said. They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”
“Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” added Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”