Autumn is here, and once October arrives, it means Halloween season. Each year on October 31st, kids go door-to-door collecting candy. Even if you’re past your trick-or-treating years you are probably tempted by candy wherever you go. What are the best and worst types of candy, in terms of oral health?
The Worst Candy
If the candy is sticky in any way or meant to stay in your mouth for a while, it’s not good for your teeth. Sticky candies like gummies and taffy will literally stick to your teeth so they’re harder to remove. The sugar is right against the surface of your teeth. Hard candies come with a similar problem, since you’re supposed to suck on them for a long time. The sugar mixes with your saliva and completely coats all of your teeth. Hard candies can also crack your teeth if you aren’t careful. Here are some of the worst types of candy:
“Witch” Is the Very Worst Kind of Candy?
The very worst candies are sour gummies and sour hard candies. Sour candies tend to have a lot of acid in addition to sugar. That acid breaks down the enamel of your teeth. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone, and your teeth are much more vulnerable to decay. If you have to decide between regular Skittles and sour Skittles, choose regular Skittles. It’s the best of two bad choices.
The Best Candy
Chocolate is the “best” type of Halloween candy for your teeth. Why? It doesn’t stick, so it’s easier to brush off your teeth. It also often has less sugar than other candies. Dark chocolate has the least amount of sugar, compared to white or milk chocolate, so we say that it’s the best Halloween candy. Sugarless candies and gum that use sweeteners like stevia are also okay. So are chocolate-based candy bars with nuts.
Protecting Your Teeth From Spooky Decay
While you’re sorting through your Halloween haul, think about the worst types of candy and decide if you even like them that much. However, you can eat candy on Halloween, even the worst kinds, and not destroy your teeth with a few simple tips. Enjoy your treats in moderation, drink plenty of water during and after indulging, and thoroughly brush and floss before going to sleep.
Navigating Oral Health Around Halloween
Halloween can be a good opportunity to teach good oral health habits to kids. Instead of taking their candy away or hiding it, teach them they can enjoy a reasonable amount of candy if they also take care of their teeth. Brushing for two minutes and flossing after eating will help keep their teeth healthy and strong. Forming these good habits early will help them stay consistent in the future.
Speaking of good habits, coming to see Dr. LaChance for regular checkups is one of the best things you can do for your oral health. Whether you love Halloween candy or not, we’re not here to judge–we’re here to help you and your family have superb oral health. Contact us to schedule your next appointment!