The Best & Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth
Halloween is here, and we know what that means: drawers, buckets and baskets full of candy! And your kids are dreamin’ if they think they are keeping it all to themselves.
In the days and weeks following Halloween, we know you will increase your candy intake dramatically (as compared to other “normal” times of year). While technically ALL candy is bad for your teeth, this blog will tell you which candies are worse than others.
The Worst Candy for Your Teeth
Not all candy is created equal. There are some types of candy that are particularly bad for your teeth because of their high sugar content, texture, and how long they stay in contact with your teeth.
Obviously high sugar content is bad! These types of candy provide the bad, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth with plenty of fuel with which to cause cavities.
The texture of candy matters because the length of time your teeth are exposed to sugar is an important factor in cavities. Chewy, sticky, or gummy candies can stick to the surface of the teeth, providing cavity bugs with ample time to eat the sugar and make lots of harmful acid. Unfortunately, this does include a traditional Halloween favorite: candy corns.
Hard candies or lollipops that you hold in your mouth or suck on for long periods of time also provide a constantly supply of food to these bad bacteria.
This also includes mints that contain sugar. Many people suck on sugar-free mints, which is fine. But those plain old Starlight red and white mints are packed full of sugar!
The Best Candy for Your Teeth
There is one type of candy that is not terrible for your teeth. Do not misinterpret this. It is not good for your teeth either. It just isn’t as bad as the ones listed above.
Chocolate is not terribly bad for your teeth because it contains some fat. The darker the chocolate, the less harmful it is to your teeth. This does NOT include chocolate candy bars that contain sticky caramel or nougat. The stickiness of those types of candy filling negates any good effect from the fat in the chocolate.
Chocolate with nuts is your best bet. Both the chocolate and the nuts contain good fat and protein, which do not cause cavities. So grab a Hershey’s Special Dark with Almonds and watch your favorite scary movie!
What to Do after Eating Any Candy
- Make sure you are doing a great job cleaning your teeth! Brush (the right way) twice daily, and floss every night before bed.
- Add a fluoride mouthrinse to your nighttime routine. Fluoride strengthens enamel and makes cavities less likely to happen.
- After enjoying some candy, rinse your mouth with water to remove any sugary debris and neutralize the acid produced by those bad bacteria.
- Have your candy as dessert! Instead of eating it in between meals as a snack, eat the candy with a meal. This lowers its ability to cause cavities.
Don’t let your Halloween habits give you a smile that will scare people!
Do You Have More Questions about Candy?
Call us today at 940-382-1750 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chowning. He can answer every question you have about candy and its effects on your teeth.