With Halloween comes ghosts, goblins and goodies--
and 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 and leftover food in
your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what
can contribute to cavities.
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
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. “Chocolate is one of the
better candies because it washes off your teeth easier
than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says.
“Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”
Sticky and Gummy Candies
Be picky if it’s sticky. These are some of the worst
candies for your teeth. “This candy is harder to remove
and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that
cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,”
Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.
Hard candies are also ones to watch on Halloween.
“They can actually break your teeth if you’re not
careful,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “You also tend to
keep these kinds of candies in your mouth for longer
periods of time so the sugar is getting in your saliva
and washing over your teeth.”
You might want to pass on things that make you
pucker – especially if they are sticky and coated in
sugar. “Sour candy can be very acidic,” says
Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken
and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth,
making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
Have some floss handy if you’re enjoying one of
these fall favorites. “Kernels can get stuck
in-between your teeth," Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.
"They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.