It’s that time of year again! Halloween is filled with spooky fun and awesome costumes.
Whether you’re going trick-or-treating this year, or you’re a parent who plans on sneaking candy from your child’s basket after the long night of October 31st, here are some sweet candy facts to keep your teeth happy and healthy this Halloween.
Sugary foods will damage your teeth.
Almost all Halloween candies fall under the sugar category. Sugar isn’t necessarily bad for your teeth. It’s what happens when the bacteria in your mouth breaks down the sugar.
When you break down sugar, the bacteria in your mouth releases acids that can easily dissolve your enamel and cause tooth decay and gum disease over time.
One of the best things you can do is avoid processed sugars that are often in pre-packaged snacks, candy, and soda.
Is there any safe sugar for my teeth?
So, should you avoid sugar altogether since it can damage your teeth? The good news is that there is sugar alcohol called Xylitol that tastes exactly like sugar.
Safe candies and gum contain Xylitol as one of their ingredients. The ingredient tastes the same as sugar, but it doesn’t have any of the acid-causing properties like sugar.
Xylitol can actually have a positive effect on your teeth. Instead of feeding the harmful bacteria in your mouth, Xylitol actually starves it which reduces the harmful bacteria in your mouth that could lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
One of the safest sweets for your teeth is chocolate.
Chocolate is a very popular candy to pass out on Halloween. Although it contains sugar, it is one of the safer candy options on Halloween.
Chocolate doesn’t stick to your teeth as long as taffy. It also doesn’t stay in your mouth as long as hard-sucking candies like lollipops.
Recently, studies have shown that dark chocolate actually fights off tooth decay, cavities, and plaque buildup. It contains natural chemicals that fight off oral bacteria.
One of the worst candies for your teeth is taffy or anything filled with caramel.
There’s nothing better than a Laffy Taffy joke or choosing a Right Twix or a Left one. It’s all fun and games until your teeth get hurt.
Taffy and caramel will damage your teeth because they are sticky. The longer something sticks to your teeth, the easier it is for bacteria to grow. Also, sticky foods can stick to fillings in your teeth and dislodge them from your mouth.
Sweets over a long period of time are more damaging.
Everything in moderation is a good thing.
One of the most dangerous parts of Halloween is the amount of candy that piles up in the candy jar after trick-or-treating. It has the potential to last you for months!
However, eating sugar over a long period of time is actually worse for you than eating a lot of candy all at once. This is because sugar causes the bacteria in your mouth to release acids that will wear down your enamels. Over time, this could cause a lot of damage to your teeth.
Fluoride toothpaste will strengthen your teeth.
If you’ve just eaten taffy or caramel, it’s not the end of the world.
You may feel the urge to brush your teeth right after consuming a lot of sugar. However, it would be best to wait about an hour before brushing your teeth. This is because sugar weakens your enamels, so you will want to wait for it to recover before you brush your teeth.
One of the best things you can do is brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste after consuming sugar. Fluoride toothpaste strengthens your tooth enamels. Strengthening your enamels will fight off tooth decay and promote healthy teeth.
How Cobblestone Park Family Dental Can Help
At Cobblestone Park Family Dental, our team hopes you have a great Halloween! Prioritize your teeth this Halloween season, but also don’t forget to have fun.
If you experience any toothaches or pain in your mouth this season, be sure to schedule an appointment with our dedicated team.
At Cobblestone Park Family Dental, our dental professionals are ready to help. Schedule an appointment at our Oklahoma City office by calling (405) 603-8520.