Halloween means extra sweets for kids–and let’s be honest–for parents too! It is okay to indulge in an occasional treat, but with the abundance of candy around on Halloween (and continuing into the Thanksgiving and Christmas season), it is beneficial to be educated on which treats can leave a lasting impact on your mouth. Ask any dentist, and he or she will attest to the fact that there is no such thing as good candy, but there are some that cause worse damage than others.
Here’s a ranked list from best to worst on some common holiday treats, and how they can effect your oral hygiene:
(p.s. We have skipped over the obvious smart choice of an apple or other piece of fruit, since we know that your kids will too!)
1. sugar sticks –Pixie sticks and the like may seem like the worst candy for your kid’s teeth since they are just a packet of sugar, but since it is poured directly on the tongue, it is actually the smartest candy choice. The sugar has limited contact with your teeth, and it quickly swallowed rather than lingering in the mouth.
2. candy coated chocolate– M&M’s and similar treats may not have a sticky coating, but they are commonly consumed by the bag full, which provides ample amount of time for the sugar to cause bacteria in your mouth.
3. peanut butter cups– Chocolate has been known to increase the acid in your mouth, and peanut butter is sticky enough to get lodged in between your teeth and allow the chocolate to linger in your mouth for longer.
4. hard candy– The longer the candy stays in your mouth and is in contact with your teeth, the more damage it does. Candy that you suck on for long periods of time allows time for the sugar to coat the teeth.
5. taffy–Taffy can get stuck in between your teeth. It can also pull out fillings and damage orthodontic gear.
No matter what treat you choose to indulge in, remember to brush and floss afterwards.
Have a fun and safe Halloween!