Even if you don’t normally have a sweet tooth, there is something about Halloween candy that makes people want to indulge at this time of year. Unfortunately, whether you take one bite of a candy or many bites of candy, you could do serious damage to your oral health. If you’re going to dive into the kids’ trick-or-treat haul, choose wisely.
Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth
Some candy is simply much worse than others for your teeth. If you’re inclined to dig into any of the following treats, beware!
- Chewy candy: Caramel, taffy, gummy worms – any chewy candy is, by nature, sticky. It clings to teeth and pretty much stays there until you clean it off. It’s important to brush and floss as soon as possible after eating chewing candy to eliminate traces of the ingredients that stick. Be careful too if you have dental restorations – the really chewy candies could easily pull out a filling or crown or damage your cosmetic dentistry. And this goes for candy apples too.
- Hard candy: Hard candy may seem like a great choice if you’re going to indulge in Halloween candy because it lasts for a long time and means you won’t eat candy after candy. While your diet may thank you for being careful about what you’re eating, your teeth will not love you so much. Lollipops, jawbreakers, and other hard candies are simply a sugar overload that bathes your tooth enamel in bacteria and acids. This can eat away at teeth and lead to cavities. And, for the people who can’t help but bite down on a piece of hard candy, you’re always at risk for a broken tooth, broken crown, or damaged filling.
Best Halloween Candy for Your Teeth
There is one type of candy that is mostly safe for your teeth: pure chocolate. Because it is soft and melts quickly, chocolate is less likely to linger on tooth enamel or wreak any havoc otherwise.
Of course, there are different kinds of chocolate. Those that are packed with nuts or caramel are, of course, more dangerous for your teeth. Those stuffed with soft nougat or peanut butter or soft peppermint are far less harmful. Though it’s still important to cleanse your teeth after eating chocolate candy too.
How to Eat Your Halloween Candy
There are some best practices to follow to protect your oral health when you’re indulging in Halloween candy.
- Eat all your candy at one time: If you’re feeling the desire to indulge in candy, go ahead and do it – all at one time. It may seem better for your waistline if you just have a piece of candy here and there throughout the day, but it’s better for your teeth to dig in and get it over with. Then you can clean up and move on instead of contributing to a near-constant sugar bath for your teeth.
- Have candy with your meal: Trying to decide on dessert? Make it your Halloween candy fix. The saliva is flowing and your mouth is already working hard to clean away food particles and bacteria from your meal. Take advantage of the situation and chow down on the candy you’re craving.
- Brush and floss ASAP: Clean your teeth thoroughly after you eat candy by brushing and flossing carefully. If you don’t have access to your normal cleaning tools, at least rinse with water to try to wash away some of the build-up that wants to cling to your teeth.