Candy is arguably the best part of Halloween. At least it is for your children. They’ve likely spent weeks preparing or choosing the perfect costume for trick-or-treating and can’t wait to go door to door. Parents have the difficult job of sifting through that candy and pulling out the worst ones or rationing them.
Our Boulder general dentist wants you to know that you don’t have to withhold Halloween candy completely as it’s part of the joy of this spooky holiday. By limiting the amount of time your child eats candy and encouraging brushing and flossing immediately afterward, they can still enjoy most of their spoils. One day of splurging won’t do as much harm as long as your children practice good dental hygiene habits including brushing twice a day and flossing once a day year-round.
Why Chocolate is a Teeth-Friendly Halloween Treat
Chocolate is typically the most popular Halloween candy for trick-or-treating, which is good because it does less harm than its stickier counterparts because sugary chocolate residue washes off easier. Dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate for your teeth and overall health but try to stay away from chocolate treats filled with caramel, nuts, or coconut.
You might be wondering why such a sugar-rich candy is best for your teeth, and it’s mainly because it’s the lesser of several evils, including:
- Taffy and Caramel: Candies with these ingredients are bad for teeth and gums because they adhere to your teeth, getting in the grooves and along the gum line. Brushing and flossing can get most of that sticky candy off the surface of your teeth, but it’s hard to get it all at once. Your mouth will be more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease the longer these candies stay in your mouth and on your teeth.
- Hard Candies: Tootsie pops are one of the worst kinds of Halloween candy because they’re hard on the outside and sticky on the inside. That’s part of the appeal, but tootsie pops, jawbreakers, Jolly Ranchers, and the like take so long to dissolve that the sugar breaks down and becomes more acidic, which can hurt the enamel of your teeth.
- Sour Candy: These types of candy are already acidic, meaning they’re going to do more damage to the protective outer layer of your teeth, which then leaves your mouth open to tooth decay and gum disease. Pixie Stix is a good example of the worst kind of candy. That tart treat is 100 percent sugar and allows the bacteria in your mouth to have a feeding frenzy. Other sweet-and-sour treats such as gummy bears and worms are double offenders as they are acidic and sticky.
Chocolate may be the least harmful treat in the bunch, but the actual best “candy” is sugar-free gum because there’s no residue and the natural sugar it’s made of prevents bacteria from growing. However, most kids don’t want sugar-free gum on Halloween.
Schedule Your Child’s Dental Exam and Cleaning in Boulder
Now is the perfect time to schedule your child’s dental exam and teeth cleaning. Our Boulder general dentist can look for growing cavities, and the cleaning will make sure the remaining acidic residue from Halloween candy is gone completely.
Schedule a dental exam and cleaning with our dentist today by calling (303) 449-1119. Adler Advanced Dentistry serves patients in the Boulder, Colorado area including Denver and Fort Collins.