The Best and Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth
Children everywhere are preparing for what could be their most beloved holiday. Halloween is just around the corner, and kids are thinking about their costumes and most of all Trick or Treating. The littles may be super excited about collecting a bounty of candy. The dentist? Not so much.
Although it is nearly impossible to avoid candy consumption during this time of year, The Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) has recommendations for “good and bad” candy options. All of these candies may end up in your child’s treat bag, so if you like, keep a look out for them, and dispense as you like.
While dentists will never really advocate the over-consumption of sugary treats, they understand that it is almost inevitable at this time of year. Tooth Fairy Smiles would like to clarify which treats may be a better choice for your kid’s teeth, and which may increase the development of cavities. Here are some examples of the best and worst Halloween candy for your teeth.
Caramels with cream, candies that are filled with caramel, taffy, gummies, or caramel popcorn will get stuck in the grooves and spaces in teeth, making it almost impossible for saliva to wash them away. These candies are the greatest source for tooth decay.
Sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel quickly. The good news is that saliva slowly helps to restore the natural balance of the acid in the mouth. It is recommended that children actually wait 30 minutes before brushing for best results.
Treats like pixie sticks and candy corn have an extremely high sugar content that will be directly deposited on your child’s teeth. The longer this sugar sits on teeth, increases the chances of tooth decay.
Hard candy like lollipops or jawbreakers
Although they do not stick to the teeth, they take a long time to dissolve, which means the sugar is lingering on the teeth. The longer food stays in your mouth, the more acidic your mouth becomes, promoting cavities.
Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies
These candies stimulate saliva, which can help prevent dry mouth. A dry mouth allows plaque to build up on teeth faster, leading to an increased risk of cavities.
Sugar-free gum can actually prevent cavities as it not only dislodges food particles from between the teeth but also increases saliva—which works to neutralize the acids of the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
Treats like chocolate, as long as it is not filled with sticky contents, is ok if you are craving something sweet. Dark chocolate is an even better choice as the sugar content is usually lower, and it contains antioxidants, which, according to some studies, can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.
If you have any questions about the best and the worst Halloween candy for your teeth, contact Tooth Fairy Smiles.