It’s that time of year again when dentists warn kids and adults alike, about eating too much Halloween candy. While the ghosts and witches can be spooky, the cavities you can get from eating too much Halloween candy are even spookier. Here are some important Halloween dental tips to keep your teeth from looking scary once Halloween is over:
The Best Halloween Candy For Teeth
Cavities from candy are caused by the bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria eat up the sugars from the candy and then produce an acid. The acid then weakens your tooth enamel, which leads to cavities. It’s hard to avoid candy completely when it’s everywhere during Halloween. Some candies are better than others though; it all depends on the amount of sugar and the length of time your teeth are exposed to the sugar.
Dark chocolate especially is by far one of the best candies for your teeth and health in general; it won’t stick to your teeth as much as other hard candies. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate and other health benefits like antioxidants.
ADA approved gum
While it’s not handed out as much as chocolate, ADA approved sugar-free gum is the best candy overall for your teeth. Chewing gum increases saliva flow which helps clear out food stuck to your teeth. The natural sweeteners found in gum won’t stick to your teeth either.
Fun Dip and other powdery candies
While these can contain a lot of sugar, they dissolve quickly and are less likely to stick to your teeth. You can even pour it directly on your tongue to avoid it touching your teeth at all.
The sugar is the real culprit when it comes to forming cavities. Any sugar-free candy is your safest best for preventing them. Try sugar-free hard candies or lollipops to stimulate saliva to prevent bacteria growth from a dry mouth.
Candy to avoid
While some candy can be okay to eat during Halloween, avoid the following candies so you can avoid an unexpected trip to the dentist.
Generally, any type of sticky candy, like taffy or gummy candies, are the worst for your teeth. These candies stick to your teeth and stay in your mouth longer, which gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to form cavities.
Sour candies are very sugary, but also more acidic. The acidity can give the bacteria in your mouth an advantage to forming cavities by weakening your enamel even more.
Sugary hard candy
If you’re not careful around hard candies, the sugar can affect your teeth but also the hardness can crack your teeth.
More Halloween Dental Tips
Around Halloween, it’s important to maintain better good oral health and eating habits.
- Be sure to continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day. You’ll want to make sure you clear away any potential cavity producing sugars that have stuck to your teeth. Make sure to brush with an ADA-approved toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every three to four months.
- Eat healthier and choose foods that promote good oral health like low sugar foods, dairy products, leafy greens, and almonds.
- Avoid sodas and other sugary beverages. These can add to the sugars already being produced by your Halloween candy. Drinking water all day will help promote saliva to wash away bacteria and it keeps you hydrated longer than other beverages.
- Don’t over indulge in Halloween candy; limit the amount of candy and type you eat in order to reduce the exposure time your teeth experience. When sorting through your Halloween candy, pick some of your favorites and donate the rest or give some to a friend!
- Be sure to visit your dentist regularly and if you feel like you may have a cavity or other dental problem, please call our office for an appointment.
More questions about how Halloween candy affects your teeth?
Contact the office of Daniel J. Derksen, DDS, PLLC and we can answer your questions about the best Halloween candy for your teeth or schedule an appointment for a dental check-up.
Have extra candy you’re not going to eat?
Bring your extra candy to our office and we’ll send it to the troops! You can bring your candy to our office on November 5th, 6th, or 7th from 2 PM to 5 PM. We’ll pay $1 for every pound of candy and your kids can get a prize out of our treasure chest too. Learn more about our Halloween Candy Buyback event.