Halloween is an exciting time of year for a kid. They get to dress up as their favorite character, profession, or animal, have parties with their classmates and friends, and, of course, go trick-or-treating for candy. As parents, you are probably concerned about what candy your child is eating. Some candy is more ghoulish than others so we’ve put together a little guide on the best and worst Halloween treats for teeth.
Chocolate (without caramel) is probably the least harmful Halloween treat for your teeth for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s soft. Unlike hard crunchy candies, chocolate melts in your mouth so you’re not at risk for chipping a tooth on a hard surface. Chocolate also washes away a lot easier after you’ve eaten it than other candies. While sticky candies cling to the surface of your teeth long after you’ve finished a treat, chocolate can be washed away with a glass of water.
Around Halloween, popcorn is often given out in the form of balls or logs, held together with syrupy sugar and often includes extras like candy corn. In addition to the plaque-inducing effects of the sugar content, the popcorn kernels can get stuck in hard to reach places like between your teeth and at the bottom of your teeth in your gums. Fortunately, flossing can dislodge these pesky kernels fairly easy.
Gummy Candy & Caramel
It’s probably not too surprising that gummy worms, gummy bears, gumdrops, and caramels are some of the worst candies for your teeth. They are sticky and can be difficult to chew, putting stress on your teeth and jaws, while their sticky consistency means that they linger longer on your teeth than chocolates. Because they’re harder to remove from the surface of your teeth, there’s more time for bacteria to feed on them and therefore a greater risk of tooth decay.
Sour candies are another kind of Halloween treat that are sticky, but on top of that they are also usually covered in sugar enhanced with sour flavoring. This means a double wammy of sugar, as well as a lot of acid in the sour flavor. This acid can wear away at your enamel and open the door to cavities if the sticky, soury residue is not washed away from your teeth with water and sugar-free chewing gum soon after you’ve eaten.
Suckers and hard candies are terrible Halloween treats because they can lead to chipped teeth and sores on the inside of your mouth. Biting down on a hard candy puts a lot of stress on your teeth so it’s a better idea to suck on these than chomp on them. However, when you suck on hard candies, there’s more time for the sugar to mix with your saliva, coat your teeth, and feed your oral bacteria. It’s best to avoid this type of candy, especially jawbreakers!
Schedule Your Family’s Checkups!
After indulging in all those Halloween treats is a perfect time to come in for a checkup and cleaning. We can help scare away the sugar bugs in your mouth before they cause spooky dental problems! Contact us today to schedule appointments for your entire family.