With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies—and the sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful. Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities. But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says the American Dental Association. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.” To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. It washes off easier than most candies, and dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. “It’s much harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” according to ADA dentists.
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. “They can actually break your teeth if you’re not careful,” according to the ADA. “You also tend to keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva and washing over your teeth.” For those of you in braces these are definitely off limits. Hard candies can cause brackets to come off and can also lead to bent wires. Moms and dads remember also as you reach in to snag a piece of candy for yourselves, hard candies are an easy way to have a crown come off.
You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says the ADA. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer layer of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth and gums. Sometimes an unpopped kernel can finds its way into these popcorn balls and can lead to a broken tooth if you accidentally bite into one.
We hope these tips will be helpful as you sort through your Halloween goodies. From all of us at Powell & Tiller Dental Care, Happy Halloween!
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