Halloween candies to avoid:
- Hard candies that slowly dissolve in your mouth like jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers or suckers can be especially harmful because of the amount of time the sugars sit on the tooth’s surface. Another huge concern with hard candies, like jaw breakers, is that they can chip teeth.
- Chewy candy like taffies, toffies, gummies and caramels can get stuck in the crevices of your teeth, and can continue promoting decay for hours or even days!
- Sugar-free candies and gums are best for adult and developing teeth. In fact, some of them actually encourage saliva production, which is the #1 defendant against cavities.
- Chocolate-based sweets, especially dark chocolate, rinse from teeth easily and in some cases have even been shown to provide beneficial antioxidants when ingested.
- Powdery candy, while sugar-based, dissolves quickly and don’t stick to teeth.
- Apples with yogurt are a good “sweet” snack that doesn’t coat the teeth in sugar. Apples are thought to be good for the teeth because the natural crunch disturbs plaque.
- Carrots, cucumbers and celery with dressing. Veggies aren’t the top choice for kids on Halloween but try out fun ways to serve up healthy alternatives.
- Crackers, popcorn and savory snacks come in festive fun-size packaging like Halloween candies do, but rinse from teeth more easily than sugary snacks. Be wary of sticky, marshmallow or caramel coated treats that stick to teeth.
While one night of candy probably won’t hurt, prolonged snacking can cause wear on tooth enamel. It’s great to drink a lot of water while consuming candy and brush, floss and rinse directly after eating, so that sugar doesn’t have time to rest on the tooth enamel and promote bacteria growth.
So long as parents take an active role in helping kids understand the healthy limitations of eating Halloween candy and the importance of good oral hygiene, this all hallows eve is sure to be a scream.