Best and Worst Halloween Treats for Your Teeth

During the Halloween season, candy tempts you constantly. You buy it for trick-or-treaters, but you always end up eating some, too, even though you know it’s bad for your teeth. Luckily, some candies cause less damage than others.

Keeping you informed about how to care for your teeth is one of our goals here at Dental Illusions. So we’ve compiled some info about the best and worst seasonal treats, so you know which ones hurt your teeth as little as possible.

Sticky candy damages your teeth most

Sticky candy like taffy, marshmallows, and caramel do the most damage to your teeth. Believe it or not, even dried fruit isn’t the best choice, because it’s gooey, too.

The damage comes from sticky candy’s ability to cling to your teeth for a long time. The longer the candy stays on your teeth, the more opportunities bacteria have to make acid that eats away at your enamel.

Unfortunately, sticky treats are Halloween favorites -- candy apples and popcorn balls, for instance.

If you choose to eat sticky candy this year, make sure you brush your teeth as soon as possible. That advice goes for your kids, too.

Hard candy can also cause considerable damage

Hard candy may seem like a good alternative to sticky sweets, but it’s not. When you eat hard candy, such as lollipops or the big, round candies with multiple layers, you have to leave them in your mouth to dissolve. By keeping sugar around your teeth for a long time, you make it easy for bacteria to produce the acids that cause tooth decay.

If you eat hard candy, follow the same advice given to people who eat sticky candy: Brush your teeth ASAP to prevent decay.

Sour candy attacks your tooth enamel

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can swap hard candy for sour items. The sugar-in-a-straw treat, sour gummies, and sour hard candies contain acids that eat away at your tooth enamel.

The sugar in these candies also causes harm. That means your teeth get double attacked -- by acids in the candy and acids made by oral bacteria.

Chocolate actually isn’t that bad for your teeth

While chocolate contains a lot of sugar, it doesn’t take as long to eat. The less time sugar spends in your mouth, the less likely it is to be converted into acid.

The type of chocolate that you choose plays a crucial role in your dental health. Dark chocolate has much less sugar than milk chocolate, so if you need to satisfy your sweet tooth, reach for dark chocolate.

You also need to pay attention to what’s inside your chocolate. A chocolate bar full of caramel isn’t a good alternative, because it does the same damage as caramel by itself.

Sugar-free candy is your best option

You’ve probably noticed a pattern here: Sugar is really bad for your teeth. Choose candy sweetened with sugar alternatives, such as xylitol or stevia, that don’t hurt your teeth.

For an even better Halloween treat, choose sugar-free gum. Chewing helps your mouth produce more saliva, which helps prevent plaque build-up.

Studies show that most Americans have tooth decay and more than 25% have untreated cavities. Don’t let Halloween treats put you in one of those categories. Our team addresses any issues and teaches you how to improve your dental health by making smart food choices. You can contact us by calling or booking online to schedule an appointment with Dr. Saliba or Dr. Moukarim.

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