Halloween is one of the most popular holidays in the U.S., offering spooky fun and delicious treats for young and old alike. In fact, the only people who don’t seem to love Halloween are dentists! It’s no secret why: Candy and other sugary sweets are a Halloween staple, and most of them aren’t good for your teeth.
A little candy every once in a while won’t do much harm to your oral health, of course. But Halloween often presents a candy overload! Fortunately, not all candy is created equally. If you (or your kids) plan to indulge on the big day, it wouldn’t hurt to know what you’re getting yourself into. A little knowledge about the worst (and best) treats for your teeth can help you make smart choices on which sweets to enjoy on Halloween.
The Worst: The worst treats for your teeth are always the stickiest. The longer candy (or any food) sticks to your teeth, the longer bacteria can feed on it and produce cavity-causing acid. Sticky taffy, caramel, marshmallows, and even dried fruit can stick to the grooves of your teeth and become very difficult to remove. Two of the absolute worst treats for your teeth are traditional Halloween favorites: candy apples and popcorn balls. These treats are coated in sticky caramel and are also extremely hard, increasing the risk of chipping a tooth!
The Bad: Any candy and treats that contain lots of sugar, such as lollipops, candy corn, jelly beans, and nougat can cause tooth decay. Particularly bad are sticky gummy candies and sour candies, which contain a high acid content that can break down tooth enamel.
Slightly Better: The good news is that chocolate is less likely to stick to your teeth than other treats! Although it contains plenty of sugar, it is typically a better option as long as it does not contain and sticky fillings.
The Best: Sugar-free candies and treats are always the best option for Halloween indulgence. These sweets stimulate saliva, which can actually help prevent cavities and tooth decay. If you absolutely must have a little sugar in your life, try dark chocolate. It’s still loaded with sugar, but it’s not too sticky, and studies have shown that the antioxidants in dark chocolate can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.
No matter how you celebrate Halloween, don’t forget to brush and floss afterward! It’s important to remove all of the holiday treats from your teeth and gums to prevent irreversible tooth decay. Otherwise, your mouth could become spookier-looking than you ever intended!
If you’d like to have your teeth inspected and professionally cleaned after your Halloween celebration, give Discover Dental a call! Our office is never scary, even on the spookiest day of the year. We’ll do whatever it takes to help put you on the path to amazing oral health.