We know that with Halloween coming, we are officially entering the holiday season. That means you and your family will encounter more dental challenges in the form of extra candy and treats. While we all want to have fun and eat delicious food during Halloween and over the holiday season, it’s important to think about your oral health throughout the next few months as well.
Sugar is bad for your teeth in more ways than one. It is generally bad for your health and way too much sugar can weaken your immune system. But it also feeds harmful bacteria in your mouth, promoting cavities and even periodontal disease.
That said, there are some candies that work better with your teeth than others. Here we will provide a list of some of the better candies to eat this Halloween – along with the sweets you should avoid:
Eat: Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains magnesium and phosphorous, which are basic building blocks for your teeth. Many of you have likely heard that dark chocolate is a heart-healthy candy. If you want to indulge for your health, be sure to eat chocolate that has at least 72% cocoa solids in it. Otherwise, you are getting a lot of sugar accompanying those minerals.
Another reason why dark chocolate should be your go-to candy this season is that it’s not very sticky. Sticky candies will adhere to your tooth enamel and are difficult to remove fully.
Toss: Taffy, Tootsie Rolls, gummy worms and other sticky candies
Speaking of sticky candies, these Halloween traditional treats should be tossed. Just remember, the stickier the candy, the worse they are for your teeth because tooth enamel isn’t perfectly smooth. It has microscopic cracks and crevices that can be filled up by these sugar-filled treats.
Eat: Nut bars
Even if they have some stickiness, the fiber in nut bars can help break up the sticky residue that would usually build up on your teeth. Also, many nut bars are lower on sugar than other candy bars – although you can’t count on that being universally true.
Toss: Lollipops and jawbreakers
You might be able to guess why a dentist isn’t fond of something called a “jawbreaker.” Not only do treats like lollipops and jawbreakers take a long time to dissolve, keeping that sugar in your mouth and constantly feeding bad oral bacteria, there is also the impulse to crunch through such treats and crack them open. This is a great way to crack or damage your teeth. Unless you want to head over to 181 Dental for an emergency visit, we suggest you lay off the jawbreakers this year.
Eat: Sugarless candy or gum
There are sugarless options when it comes to candy – and we think these options often get a bad reputation. Try them out for yourself and find a candy that you and your family enjoys. You never know, your next favorite treat may have no sugar at all!
Toss: Sour candy
Put down the Pixie Stix. These candies have a high acidic content and can break down your tooth enamel.
Before you completely give up on candy this Halloween, remember that keeping up your dental routine and coming in for regular checkups is your best defense against dental health problems. Additionally, as a quick fix, you can always rinse with mouthwash or brush your teeth after eating candy. This will help get rid of sugar on your teeth and help you keep your mouth cavity-free!
Do you need to schedule your next dental exam and cleaning? Are you worried about your oral health? Make an appointment at 181 Dental today!