halloween candy

The One Halloween Treat that’s Best for your Teeth

halloween candyBloomsburg, Danville, and Lewisburg, PA

Halloween is a fun holiday centered around candy and sweets. Kids and adults indulge their sweet tooth from colorful punch to baked goods and candy. You may already know that sugar promotes cavities and isn’t great for your teeth. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. The good news is that enjoying sweets occasionally won’t wreck your smile. But we’d like to share the Halloween treat that’s best for your teeth.

Chocolate, specifically dark chocolate, is best for your teeth. Not only is it packed with antioxidants that are good for your overall health, but true dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains very little sugar. Some dark chocolate varieties are sugar-free and contain Stevia or another artificial sweetener instead. In comparison to milk chocolate, which can be more than 50% sugar, dark chocolate may have 20% sugar or less, depending on the brand. In contrast, white chocolate has even more grams of sugar than milk chocolate. In fact, white chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa, which means it isn’t real chocolate. It’s a chocolate confection made mostly from sugar. Therefore, dark chocolate containing at least 70-85% cocoa is your best bet this Halloween. Not only can you enjoy a lightly sweet treat, but it won’t wreck your teeth.

Candy to limit this Halloween

We don’t want to spoil all of the fun by telling you to avoid all sugar or candy this Halloween. The truth is, it’s OK to enjoy your candy stash in moderation.

Here are a few tips to follow if you want to indulge in some candy and keep your teeth healthy:

  • Eat candy around mealtimes instead of snacking throughout the day.
  • Enjoy a few pieces at once and be done.
  • Drink plenty of water while eating candy or sweets.
  • Brush and floss your teeth afterward.

What’s the worst Halloween candy for your teeth?

There are a few options that can be pretty hard on your teeth. It doesn’t mean you can’t eat them, but do so sparingly and with caution.

  • Hard Candies – Teeth are most susceptible to damage or decay when exposed to sugar for a prolonged period. Therefore, sucking on hard candy routinely throughout the day and between meals will increase your risk of cavities.
  • Sour Candy – Some people enjoy the tangy, tart flavor of sour candy. Unfortunately, these types of candy are highly acidic and sugary, which is like a double whammy for your teeth. Highly acidic foods can erode dental enamel and cause cavities. Will enjoying a pack of Sour Patch Kids’ gummy candy ruin your teeth? Not likely. But eating a lot of sour candy or consuming it regularly could lead to an unfavorable report during your next checkup with the dentist.
  • Gummy Candy – Sticky or chewing candy is about the worst thing you can eat in terms of your oral health. Gummy candies often remain lodged in the crevices of your teeth, specifically your back molars. This means that sugar could be stuck to your teeth for hours or all day, which fuels bacteria that cause cavities. We’ve also seen gummy candy pull off crowns or old dental fillings, resulting in an emergency visit to our Bloomsburg dental office. If you must indulge in eating a pack of gummy candy this Halloween, we recommend brushing and flossing afterward to prevent residual sugar from residing on your teeth all day.

Family Dentists in Bloomsburg

Enjoy Halloween and other holidays this season, even if it means snacking on sweets every so often. Just be cautious about what you eat and how much candy you consume throughout the day. It’s best to eat sweets in one sitting. For an extra layer of protection, schedule an end-of-year cleaning and checkup to ensure your oral health remains in tip-top shape. Call Hamilton Dental Care at (570) 387-0533 to learn more ways you can protect your teeth or schedule an appointment.