It is not true that all dentists hate Halloween and candy. In fact, most dentists enjoy a sweet treat and a fun holiday just like the rest of us! It is fine to let the children enjoy trick-or-treat goodies, as long as they are brushing and flossing correctly and often. This is especially important after they eat sugary sweets on Halloween and after.
Sugar builds bacteria in the mouth, which can become plaque. It is difficult to remove plaque, which leads to tooth decay. As you are shopping for Halloween treats to pass out at the front door, keep in mind these pros and cons from dentists.
Which candies do dentists like – or hate – for Halloween?
These trick-or-treat options are not a dentist’s favorite:
Caramels, taffy, and gummy snacks are popular sticky Halloween candy. Dentists do not like this category because the sugars can remain on teeth for a long time. As sugar sits on teeth, bacteria have more time to break down protective tooth enamel.
Acid makes this kind of candy sour. It can be fun to eat, but acid is harsh on enamel. When the hard shell of tooth enamel is broken down, teeth become more vulnerable to cavities.
Children can crack a tooth if they bite down on these with too much force. In addition, hard Halloween candy is meant to be sucked on, and in the mouth longer. The sugar melts in the mouth and coats the teeth.
So, what are some good solutions for a sweet tooth and oral health for the upcoming holiday? These Halloween candy choices are better for the teeth than the options above:
Good news if you love chocolate! Chocolate is one of the best choices of Halloween candy when it comes to teeth. Chocolate rinses off teeth more easily than sticky or hard candies. In addition, dark chocolate treats, have less sugar than milk chocolate and additional properties for good health. Did you know that dark chocolate has a chemical that reduces bad breath?
Candy with nuts
Be careful with nut candies and allergies, but nut treats are a good option for teeth. Nuts are abrasive and break down the sugars that have a tendency to stick. However, little particles of nuts can become stuck in between teeth, so brushing and flossing are still important.
Americans spend billions of dollars on Halloween candy. Pay attention to the amount your kids are consuming and make sure they are brushing and flossing. To limit the amount of sugar your children are consuming, have several healthy after-school snacks available as alternatives. Have a safe and fun Halloween!