While broken teeth and breath that smells like the grave are acceptable accents to your costume, it’s not a look to commit to year-round. Instead, keep your pearly whites in such pristine condition that even a vampire would be jealous by avoiding these Halloween candies — and choosing less damaging sweets instead.
1. Sticky, Gooey Candy
Whether it’s made of honey and molasses or toffee and cream, sticky, gooey candies damage your teeth. The texture causes it to hide in tooth crevices, around the gumline and in the spaces between your teeth. Because they hang around longer than other types of candy, gooey treats provide more fuel for the bad bacteria that eat away at enamel.
Additionally, if you’ve invested in your smile and have crowns, bridges and other work, candies like caramel and toffee can actually stick to — and in severe cases, remove — dental work. While indulging in your favorite gooey treat might sound like a good idea, the cost and pain of having to make an emergency dental visit aren’t worth it.
2. Sour Candy
It’s the very ingredients that make sour candy so tempting that cause major tooth problems: acids. Sour candy contains harsh acids to give the confectionary delights that pucker-inducing twist. Because sour candies promote a more acidic environment in your mouth, you’re more likely to do damage enjoying one of these treats than some of the other Halloween candy options available.
If sour candy also happens to be sticky, you’re in for double trouble. Not only can the acid erode at your teeth, but sticky sour candy sticks around far longer than its non-gooey counterparts — meaning the acid and sugar both have more time to do permanent damage to your smile.
3. Hard Candy
The simple delight of popping a hard candy into your mouth and letting the flavor wash over you can’t be beat. Unfortunately, hard candies pose a number of risks to your smile and are one of the worst options when choosing to indulge this Halloween season.
The texture spells trouble if you’re already experiencing dental problems, potentially leading to chips, cracks and damage. The long-lasting nature of the candy means that decay-causing bacteria have more time to consume the sugar for energy and, if the candy goes soft and gooey as you consume it, it could get stuck in nooks and crannies.
Better Halloween Candy Options
If you want to exercise a little indulgence this Halloween season and snack on some candy (in moderation, of course!), don’t fret. Some of your favorite sugary treats are still on the menu. While no candy is inherently healthy or good for your smile, making less damaging choices is the way to go if you just can’t resist.
It’s rich, it’s creamy and it melts in your mouth: and that’s exactly what makes chocolate one of the better choices for Halloween. Because it’s easily dissolved by saliva, chocolate poses less of a risk to your smile than hard or gooey candy.
It’s also better to opt for dark over milk chocolate. While it still contains some sugar, dark chocolate contains less milk and sweeteners and more cocoa. Cocoa in its natural state contains certain compounds that may, according to studies, actually help ward off plaque formation and harden tooth enamel.
Candy with Nuts
Honor your sweet tooth and respect your other teeth by choosing a treat that contains nuts. Nuts in your candy bars can help break up the stickiness of the confection and reduce the amount of damage caused to your teeth. The rough texture of the nuts can potentially break up the biofilm in your mouth, too — that’s the stew of bacteria (both good and bad!), viruses and fungi that naturally live in your mouth.
Don’t be afraid! Drs. Krieger and Hur are eager to help you and your child be the very best you can both be with routine cleanings and checkups. We know you have a lot to do, that’s why we’ve leveraged the latest technology to help you get in and out of the office faster and treat any dental issues with fewer visits.
We’re easy to reach by telephone at 201-560-0606 or via email.