Trick or treat? Well, if you’re a dentist, Halloween and all the candy it brings generally means both! Read on for our list of the tastiest and worst candy culprits and some tips on how to maintain good dental hygiene and healthy teeth even after all that sugar!
Worst types of Halloween Candy For Your Teeth
Are you so addicted to chocolate it’s scary? Are you a mint monster, fudge fiend or a lunatic for lollipops? Whatever tastes you have, it’s fine to indulge every now and then but Halloween can really bring out those sweet teeth, or should we say fangs? It’s a well known fact that a toothbrush or healthy snack is not what trick or treaters are looking for but from a dentist’s point of view, Halloween is definitely the nightmare before Christmas! Here’s a rundown of some of the tastiest and worst types of candy in Dr. Ross’ eyes so you can be a bit more choosy when you have your pick of the Halloween bowl:
A perennial favorite of Dr. Ross’, gummies in novelty animal shapes are fun crowd-pleasers, especially the sour Cabbage Patch Kids and Neon Worms. Unfortunately, though, these soft, chewy sweets get stuck in between your teeth, making it hard to remove and encouraging bacteria to congregate there. Sour gummies are even worse, being coated in sugar. They are also acidic, attacking your enamel and trying their best to create cavities.
There’s no right way to eat hard candy. If you go for an instant gratification crunch, you could do like Dr. Ross did and break a molar while eating NERDS candy back in 2020. Fortunately, Dr. Blaskovich was able to save his tooth with a crown! If you go for the long haul and suck it, the sugar in the candy stays in your mouth for a long time, coating your teeth as it gets smaller. Either way, they’re pretty bad for the health of your teeth.
Taffy and caramels are popular Halloween treats for their gooey sweetness but they are bad news for your dental hygiene. Sticky candies get lodged in the gaps and crevices of your teeth, stubbornly refusing to be brushed out. This means an increase in bacteria and a higher risk of cavities and decay. And if you’re wearing metal braces or other orthodontic appliances, please skip the sticky candy!
Best Types of Halloween Candy For Your Teeth
OK, we’ve talked enough about why candy is bad for your teeth. Is there anything left in that Halloween bag? You always have options for better dental health choices so here’s our pick of the best types of Halloween candy for your teeth. Just remember that even these choices should be consumed in moderation!
Hooray! Plain chocolate without things such as caramel inside, does not get stuck between teeth as badly as other candy and is more easily rinsed away. In fact, dark chocolate contains the least amount of sugar and may even have positive effects on your tooth enamel which makes it a win-win in our book. Surprisingly, Dr. Ross doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth for chocolates!
It might sound boring but there are plenty of sugar-free options to choose from and these days they taste just as good as their cavity-causing counterparts. Sucking on sugar-free lollipops and hard candies does not encourage bacteria to thrive so you won’t get tooth decay here – just make sure not to damage your teeth by crunching on them.
Chewing sugar-free gum is a good way to maintain healthy teeth. It increases the flow of saliva in your mouth which in turn washes away plaque-causing bacteria. This increases the health of your mouth and can prevent cavities from forming. You’ll find Dr. Ross chewing on sugar-free gum throughout his day at PWNDI.
Dental Hygiene Tips For Halloween
Let’s assume that you overindulged on the candy. This is not great news for your teeth so it’s extra important to practice good dental hygiene around Halloween. Here are some tips to save your mouth from spooky surprises:
Don’t brush your teeth immediately after eating candy
This may surprise you but if you start brushing away straight after acidic or sugary candy has been attacking your enamel, you will do more harm than good. Wait at least 30 minutes and maybe have a drink of water before thoroughly brushing and flossing.
Keep track of what you’re eating
Fun-size sugary treats are made to be gobbled up but try to keep track of how many candies you’re eating and limit it as much as possible. Make sure young children are not eating excessive amounts in one day and you can always make the holiday last longer by spacing your treats out over the week.
Look for incentives
Some dentists offer prizes for turning in bags of excess Halloween candy so save your teeth and take advantage. Other organizations such as schools also request candy donations for troops overseas or other aid packages so you can feel good about giving up the sweets! Dr. Ross will simply keep the candy for himself, so definitely don’t drop it off to him 😉
Healthy Teeth This Halloween
As far as Dr. Blaskovich is concerned, the best type of candy is no candy at all! (Dr. Ross would not agree) We know that this takes all the fun out of the holidays, though, so at Pueblo West Neighborhood Dental and Implants we ask our patients to go easy on the sugary stuff, make smart choices and to maintain a good oral health routine by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Come and see us for a dental cleaning and information about healthy teeth and great dental hygiene.