Halloween treats are hard to resist, but some wreak havoc on your teeth more than others. The Trident Dental team offers the following tips on which treats are best avoided, which ones you should be cautious about, and which are the least harmful to dental health.
What to avoid
Candies that stick to your teeth, like caramels, gummies, are among the worst and best to avoid. Those sweet and sticky particles linger on your teeth.
Your saliva begins the process of digestion and contains an acid that breaks down the sugar in candy. This process of digestion can cause harm to the enamel that protects your teeth if it’s happening on your teeth — as it is when you’ve eaten sticky candy! Damaged enamel leads to tooth decay.
The best way to avoid enamel damage from sticky candy is to make sure to brush your teeth thoroughly as soon as possible afterward. The longer the candy is on your teeth, the greater the chance the acid has to damage your tooth enamel.
Hard candy is bad, too, including lollipops and jawbreakers. Any candy that takes a long time to eat puts your dental enamel at risk because the digestive acids come into contact with your teeth. That all-day-lolly may seem harmless, but it may be causing damage.
Simply biting, chewing, and swallowing may seem like a good way to protect your tooth enamel, but it actually presents a different danger. Chipping or breaking a tooth on a piece of hard candy can ruin your Halloween fun fast!
Be careful with these candies
Sour candy is more acidic than other candies, and that acid harms tooth enamel. Another candy that may not seem terribly harmful is powdered candy, like Pixie Stix. It dissolves quickly, so it doesn’t coat your teeth or linger in your mouth, but it can alter the pH balance of your mouth, and that can open the door to tooth decay.
Everyone’s favorite is also the least harmful
When it doesn’t contain nuts or fillings and is creamy, chocolate represents the least danger to your teeth. Chocolate isn’t sticky, doesn’t stay in your mouth for a long time, and isn’t likely to change the pH balance in your mouth.
Although it’s not really candy, a treat that causes no harm is sugar-free gum. It doesn’t leave anything on your teeth, and there’s nothing for the bacteria to break down.