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Know What You’re Up Against! The Best and Worst Halloween Candies for Your Child’s Dental Health

October 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — adampreece @ 11:59 pm

Children love dressing up as zombies on Halloween, but nobody wants to have a zombie’s teeth year-round. While Halloween is a great time to have spooky fun, a heaping pillowcase full of candy can lead to nasty oral health problems long after the sweets are gone. Here’s a guide from your local pediatric dentist to help you know which candies are safer than others and how to mitigate the risks when your child is enjoying their Halloween haul.

Think Twice Before You Devour Candies Hard, Sticky, and Sour

 Sticky candies such as gummies, caramels, and taffy have a way of wedging their way into the nooks and crannies of your mouth and stubbornly hanging out there for a long time. This gives them more time to feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease. Hard candies like butterscotch discs and jawbreakers are just as harsh because they are intended to sit in the mouth and dissolve over time, which coats the teeth in a sugary residue. Trying to chew hard candies can be even worse because the force can chip or crack the teeth.

Sour candies are a notorious culprit behind tooth decay because their sour flavor comes from dietary acids. Acid is one of the worst things for your teeth because it directly dissolves the enamel layer. Skip the sour sweets to help keep cavities at bay.

Chocolate Dark Won’t Leave Its Mark

Chocolate is the most popular type of candy around, and it thankfully isn’t the worst thing for your smile. It isn’t acidic or sticky, its texture isn’t harsh on the enamel, and it can be easily cleaned away from your teeth. Dark chocolate is even better because it contains less sugar and is high in antioxidants.

Follow Up Your Fun with Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum is actually a great way to end a snack or meal because it can stimulate saliva flow without contributing to tooth decay. Saliva is your body’s first line of defense against tooth decay because it washes away leftover food and sugary residues while remineralizing the teeth and helping control bacterial populations. Chewing this guiltless minty confection also helps remove food debris and plaque stuck on the teeth. If you can find the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance on the label, you know you have the right brand.

The best time to enjoy candy is with a meal because the extra saliva circulating around the mouth will help clean away the excess sugars and acids. Be sure to have all the frightful fun your family can handle this Halloween but remember to watch out for everyone’s teeth so that they all have the same beautifully ghoulish grins next year.

About the Author

Dr. Adam Preece earned his dental degree at Ohio State University before completing a two-year residency program in Pediatric Dentistry at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo, NY. He is Board-Certified by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and has served on the staff at Children’s Health Dallas/Plano since 2010. His office in Garland, TX offers pediatric general, cosmetic, restorative, and emergency dentistry. For more information on how to have a teeth-healthy Halloween, contact the office online or dial (972) 364-7472.

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