The leaves are changing, the air is getting cooler, and with Halloween just days away, I have provided a few tips for choosing the best type of candy possible to help you protect your child’s oral health.
Some types of candy, such as chewy candy, can stick to teeth. Encourage your child to choose candy that dissolves quickly such as powdery candy or plain chocolate bars. The reason that sticky or chewy candy can be harmful to oral health is when this sugar remains on teeth for extended periods, bacteria feeds on it and can produce cavity-causing acid.
Sweets from trick or treating can be scary for oral health, but Northeast Delta Dental has rated the best types of candy from one, being least harmful for oral health, and five being the most harmful to help you navigate through your child’s Halloween loot.
- Sugar-free candy and gum with xylitol These types of candy do not contain sugar that bacteria can feed on in the mouth and produce decay-causing acids. Gum and candy with xylitol may actually protect teeth by reducing the acids produced by bacteria and increasing saliva to rinse away excess sugars and acids.
- Powdery candy (such as sugar straws) Although powdery candy has a lot of sugar, it dissolves quickly and does not stick to teeth.
- Chocolate (such as candy bars) Chocolate can be eaten easily and dissolves quickly in the mouth, which limits the amount of time sugar is in contact with teeth.
- Hard candy (such as lollipops or mints) Hard candy is usually enjoyed at a slower pace for extended periods of time. Biting hard candy can also chip or break teeth.
- Chewy candy (such as caramels or gummies) Chewy or sticky candies are damaging to teeth because they are high in sugar, remain stuck to teeth longer, and are more difficult for saliva to break down.
I hope you find these tips to be helpful. I wish everyone a safe, happy, and healthy Halloween.
To learn more about how to protect teeth during Halloween and all-year-round, visit www.toothfairytrickytreats.org.