It’s hard to resist the Halloween candy that is everywhere in October. Adults and kids alike are tempted by their favorite sweet treats, but your teeth will not love you for it. While indulging in moderation is the smart choice, there are certain candies that it’s good to stay away from completely for the sake of your teeth. Here are just some dos and don’ts from your Red Bank dentist to help keep your teeth healthy and intact this All Hallows Eve.
Do eat all your candy at once.
Sure, parents worry about tummy aches for their kids if they let them eat several pieces of candy in one sitting, but this move is actually better for teeth. Snacking on candy here and there throughout the day (adults, this means you too) keeps teeth coated with sugar, and that’s a sure route to tooth decay and the need for tooth-colored fillings.
Don’t eat the sticky candy.
Sticky, chewy, and gummy candies are some of the worst possible options for your teeth. Whether licorice or taffy, caramel or candy apples, this candy can tug and pull at your teeth, damaging cosmetic dental work or tooth restorations, even pulling them out completely. The chewier candies also stay on your teeth longer than other treats, again creating an environment for sugar and bacteria to settle in to cause decay.
Don’t eat hard candy.
If you think that keeping a jawbreaker or lollipop in your mouth is the best way to indulge without going overboard, it’s more important in this instance to think about your teeth rather than your waistline. Hard candy requires you to keep sucking on it to make it smaller. This creates an ongoing sugar bath of candy that clings to your teeth.
There is another problem with hard candy. Once you’re tired of having it dissolve your mouth, or you just want to get to the gum or chewy candy inside, you’re probably more likely to chomp down on the candy to finish it rather than spit it out. This move puts you at risk for breaking a tooth. And that kind of repair puts you in porcelain crown territory.
Do eat chocolate.
Chocolate is the kindest candy to teeth, if you avoid the chocolates that contain caramel or other sticky ingredients. Chocolate doesn’t stay on your teeth very long like other sweets. It washes away more easily and doesn’t have the staying power of hard and chewy candies. It’s still important to clean your teeth well after eating chocolate, but this is one treat you can enjoy without feeling too guilty.
Don’t eat candy while wearing braces.
If you are considering braces for yourself or your teen, remember that candy and brackets and wires are not friendly to each other. Invisalign braces are the safest way to indulge while aligning your teeth because you must remove your invisible aligners before digging in. This orthodontia, however, comes with rules too. Your teeth must be clean and free of food particles before you put the snug-fitting aligners back in and trap sugar between your aligners and enamel.
Do enjoy your candy.
There is nothing wrong with having Halloween candy. Make smart choices about what you eat, how you eat it, and when you eat it. Your teeth will thank you, and your Red Bank dentist will too. Contact Dr. Carole Sherrod Jewell, general dentist in Red Bank, NJ, to schedule your appointment for a cleaning or oral health needs.