Aside from the winter holidays, Halloween might just be the most difficult time of year to try to suppress a sweet tooth. However, you can avoid a mouth haunted by cavities by cutting back on your sugar intake. We understand that for most children, and many adults, abstaining from Halloween candy is just not an option. And we can’t say we blame you! That being said, certain sweets and treats are better for your oral health than others. We’ve broken down the most popular types of candy into three categories: Bad, Better and Best. Take a look.
Caramels, sour candies and similar chewy candies are the absolute worst for your teeth because they are very high in sugar. Not to mention, they carry an erosive acid. What ranks them as the worst candy for your mouth though, is that you have to spend a good deal of time chewing them, meaning your teeth are exposed to sugar for a prolonged period of time. Additionally, all of this chewing wedges the sugar into the ridges and hard to reach places of your teeth.
Hard candies like mints, lollipops and Jolly Rancher type treats are also very bad for your teeth. These too spend a long time in your mouth, bathing your teeth in sugar while your saliva works to break it down. Being that “hard” is in the name, these candies are also tough on your teeth. Biting down on these can chip or break your teeth, and then you might be in need of a crown or even veneers!
As we all know, chocolate is delicious and more often than not, irresistible. While not ideal for your oral health, chocolate dissolves fairly quickly in your mouth. In this case, sugar has less time to come into contact with your teeth, which makes it slightly less harmful than say caramels and hard candies. The calcium in chocolate also can work to your advantage, helping protect tooth enamel. Though you’ll want to avoid chocolate filled with nuts and/or caramel (Snickers, we’re looking at you)!
Powdery candy is also somewhat less harmful than chewier, harder candies. Easily dissolved, the sugar in powdery candies has less time to latch onto your teeth. This prevents it from producing acids and bacteria which can, and over time will, cause tooth decay if not cleaned properly.
We’re sure everyone saw this coming, but, sugar-free candy and gum with xylitol ranks as the safest and best overall for oral health out of all the Halloween candy you could consume. Obviously, being free of sugar is the number one benefit of this candy. The added benefit here is that xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar. It can actually counterattack acid formation that causes tooth decay.
You might read this article and think, it’s only once a year, I’m going to indulge. While it’s okay to enjoy some tasty treats, the trick is to do so in moderation. Like in many other aspects of life, moderation is key.
With that, we would like to say, a Happy Halloween to all! After enjoying your spooky spoils, be sure you’ve scheduled your sixth month check-up! If you haven’t, or aren’t sure, give us a call at (215) 564-1025!