With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies! The sugar in those treats can play some unwanted tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful.
Here’s why: The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are. When the bacteria eat the sugar in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities, even with effective brushing and flossing.
But don’t hang up your costume just yet. “Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”
To help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate is probably your best bet, which is good because it’s also one of the most popular kinds of candy handed out on Halloween. Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst candies for your teeth. Sticky candies are difficult to remove from the teeth!
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween. Harder candies have the tendency to break and crack teeth.
You might want to pass on things that make you pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in sugar. Sour candies tend to be more acidic.
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of these fall favorites. Popcorn kernels can easily get caught between the teeth and even under the gums.
Enjoy your Halloween and use these helpful tips when splurging on your treats!