Halloween is a wonderful celebration that involves exciting spooks, fun fall crafts, and lots of delicious candy! While many people love every aspect of Halloween, the candy is a favorite, especially among kids. From chocolates to gummy candy to candies made of pure sugar, these sweet treats are definitely a popular part of the Halloween holiday.
While most people enjoy sneaking a piece of candy or two for a few weeks after Halloween, there is one group who cringes at the thought of these sugar-filled treats. Dentists know that candy can wreak havoc on your teeth. While you may be avoiding candy for other health reasons, be sure to think about your teeth when munching on those sticky caramels.
While we don’t want to tell you never to eat candy again (not even dentists can accomplish that), we just want you to be aware of the candy you are eating and how it can affect your teeth. Some types of candy are worse for your teeth than others. But we believe that knowledge is power. When you understand how sugary treats can harm your teeth, you may be more aware of how well you brush your teeth and take care of your oral hygiene, especially in the weeks following Halloween.
At Aspen Hill Dental in Wheat Ridge, we want to help keep your smile as healthy as possible. While the way you brush, floss, and take care of your teeth at home can affect the health of your teeth, getting regular checkups and cleanings is also important. After the holiday season, be sure to schedule your appointment with us to ensure that your teeth didn’t face too much damage from the endless amount of sweets.
In this blog, we wanted to talk about the candies that are worst for your teeth that are common during the Halloween season. Read on to learn more and remember to take extra care of your teeth in the near future!
The first thing we want to mention is why candy, and sugar in general, is bad for your oral health. When the bacteria in your mouth mixes with sugar and leftover food in your mouth, it produces acid which contributes to cavities, tooth decay, and other problems.
Gummy candies are popular and they are a favorite for many. However, they may be the worst for your teeth. Gummy candy may taste delicious and be fun to chew on but gummy candy gets stuck in teeth easily, which means it just sit in your mouth for a while. This means that bacteria has more time to turn this sticky sugary treat into acid that can eat away at your tooth enamel and cause many other issues. Gummy candy is sticky and stays stuck to your teeth longer, which makes it one of the worst candies for your teeth.
Caramels and Taffy
Caramel and taffy are two other types of candy that are sticky and stay in your mouth for longer periods of time. These types of candy can be difficult to remove from your teeth and are easily lodged in the grooves and spaces between your teeth. This causes your teeth to be exposed to sugar for longer periods of time, which can lead to oral problems. If your child has braces or other dental appliances, these sticky candies can damage them and cost you a lot to repair.
Sour and Citrus Candies
Sour and citrus candies are very acidic. The acid in these types of candies can break down and weaken your enamel, making your teeth more susceptible to cavities. Sour and citrus candies should be avoided as much as possible because the sugar and acids in them cause damage to your teeth. So, it may be obvious, but those sour and gummy candies are among the worst for your teeth!
Hard candies that you suck on are another oral hygiene offender. Since you suck on them, the time these candies spend in your mouth is increased, which means that the bacteria has more time to turn those sugars into harmful acids that affect your teeth. While sucking on these hard candies is not the best for your teeth, chewing on them certainly isn’t the better choice! These hard candies can actually break your teeth. While you don’t need to avoid these hard candies altogether, just make sure to rinse your mouth with water after you finish the candy and brush your teeth a little longer than usual to make sure you remove all of the sugar from around your teeth and gums.
Popcorn balls are a common treat around the Halloween season. Many people even hand them out instead of candy. Just because popcorn balls technically aren’t candy, some people may think they aren’t as harmful for your teeth, but that’s not the case. Popcorn balls are covered in sugar and they are sticky, since they are generally held together with caramel or corn syrup. They also include kernels, which can get stuck between your teeth, or in the gums, which can cause infection.
While we may have made you rethink ever eating candy again, there is some good news! Chocolates are one of the best candies that you can eat during the Halloween season because it washes out of your mouth quickly and doesn’t stick to your teeth. Chocolate bars do not pose as big of a risk of oral problems as other types of candy, making them a great option. Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate, which makes it an even better option for your oral health.
While no candy is really good for your teeth, there are some that you should choose over others when given the choice. When you are sneaking pieces of candy from your child’s candy stash, be sure to pick the one that is not going to ruin your teeth. Or choose the gummy sour candies because you know you will brush your teeth better than your children! Either way, keep your teeth in mind during the seasons of sweet treats!
How to Care for Your Teeth During Halloween
While candy can be very bad for your teeth, we don’t want to ruin all the fun! Let your kids enjoy their candy and enjoy the piece or two you sneak from their stash every day. You will just want to make sure that you are taking extra care of your teeth and stay on top of your dental health and make sure your kids are doing the same.
While you should be brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once throughout the entire year, it is even more important that you do this during the months when you eat more sweets. Make sure you and your kiddos are brushing your teeth in the morning and at night. Flossing can help remove any other lingering pieces of candy hiding in between your teeth.
You will want to make sure that you remove any particles of candy that may be left in your mouth. This means that you should brush your teeth and hit every angle, making sure your kids do the same.
Another good way to wash candy pieces of your teeth and out of your mouth is to rinse with water after you finish a sweet treat. Rinse with water, even if you don’t feel like you have candy particles lodged between your teeth. It can also just help remove the sugar from your teeth, gums, and tongue.
By taking extra care of your teeth during the last few months of the year, you can make sure that you are keeping your teeth as healthy as possible, even with all of the sweet treats being consumed.
After Halloween and the rest of the holiday season, be sure to schedule a teeth cleaning! Regular teeth cleanings can help prevent gum disease and keep your gums and teeth in excellent health.
Hopefully, this blog taught you a thing or two about candy and how it can affect your teeth. While we do not want you to remove all candy from your home and keep your kids from trick-or-treating, we just wanted you to be aware of what these sugary treats can do to your pearly whites! Take care of your teeth and be sure to schedule an appointment at Aspen Hill Dental in Wheat Ridge. We are happy to help keep your teeth clean and healthy and prevent any problems from occurring! Enjoy Halloween with your kiddos, sneak a treat or two, and brush those teeth!