Halloween is before us and what more to look forward to than households of children amped up on sugar while their precious teeth remain coated in sticky treats. Let’s not take away their treat-filled fun, but we can certainly help to make it a healthier experience for their smiles, right?
While all candy is delicious and most often packed with sugar, there are some candy choices that are better than others. Here are some questions to keep in mind when choosing what your trick-or-treaters will be snacking on: How sticky is the candy? How long will it take to consume? Is it high in acidity? Each of these questions will help gauge how the candy impacts oral hygiene.
Sticky Candy (Snickers, Starburst, Charleston Chew, etc.):
Candy that sticks to the teeth is more difficult to clean off of the teeth. It’s that simple. Unless the teeth are brushed immediately after consumption, these types of candies are popular in the cavity department. Interestingly enough, if you choose a sticky candy bar, keep in mind that several studies have stated that dark chocolate can help fight against tooth decay. Another tip, nuts help to separate the candy from teeth while also providing dietary value with protein and fiber.
Long-lasting Candy (lollipops, Jawbreakers, sugar-filled bubble gums):
When we expose our teeth to sugars and acidity for long periods of time, we increase the chance of a cavity. However, there are lollipop options like LoLoz that contain zero sugar and actually promote healthy teeth, or Dr. John’s lollipops, THRIVE, which are also sugar free. Xylitol is the sugar alternative in these two treats.
Acidic Candy (Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, Nerds, etc.):
I’m sure you’re wondering how to know when a candy is acidic? Well, if the candy is sour, then it’s definitely acidic. Though these lip-puckering candies are a big hit with the kiddos, they have a tendency to strip the enamel from teeth. The job of tooth enamel is to protect the teeth from decay, so it’s certainly best to keep that enamel in place. A healthier alternative to sour candy? Unfortunately, this is a difficult one to substitute for trick-or-treaters, but a granny smith apple is great for the everyday snack.
Candy happens. The best way to prevent cavities is to brush after eating and to consume in moderation, but if after the Halloween season passes you feel a cleaning is necessary—we are happy to help. Call us anytime at 207-781-5900.