Avoiding eating candy at certain times of the year can be especially difficult, and Halloween may just be the toughest time of the year. Out of all the foods that are bad for your teeth, candy can certainly be among the worst, and some types of candy are especially damaging. So before you dig into your trick-or-treat haul this year, take a moment to learn about the best and worst candy for your teeth.
The Best Candy For Your Teeth
Rejoice! Dark chocolate is among the least unhealthy candies for your teeth. Dark chocolate contains tannins, a type of antioxidants, which mainly work to destroy harmful bacteria in the mouth and hence help stop tooth decay. However, be careful with this option and remember, the closer the chocolate is to the natural cocoa bean, the better.
Sugarless Gum, Lollipops, and Hard Candy Containing Xylitol
A study by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD) shows that sugar-free lollipops and hard candies promote saliva production, preventing dry mouth, a condition that lets slab form up on teeth quicker. Avoid eating candy with synthetic artificial sweeteners such as aspartame; instead, opt for candies sweetened with Xylitol, a substance occurring naturally in several vegetables and fruits.
Sweeteners with Xylitol protect your white pearls by balancing the PH levels in your mouth by counterbalancing enamel-eating acids produced by bacteria. They also increase the salivary fluids that wash away excess acids and sugars.
In addition to saliva production, sugar-free gum removes food particles and stuck-up sugar from the teeth; this prevents plaque building up and minimizes your possibility of developing cavities that will require a dental filling.
While powdery candy may seem like a bad selection for your dental health, it can actually be one of the best choices for avoiding bacteria growth. To avoid touching your teeth, pour the candy directly on the tongue. This way nothing is left for the bacteria that cause the cavity to feed on. Additionally, powdery candy breaks up quickly and does not stay for long to cause cavities.
The Worst Candy For Your Teeth
Sour candy has double the risk of damaging your smile; it contains both acid and sugar. The acid in sour candies accelerates the enamel erosion progression that causes cavities and discoloration. Sour candies are particularly bad for children since their teeth have soft enamel that decays and wears off more easily. Many dentists advise that one should wait 30 minutes after eating sour sweets before brushing their teeth in order to avoid stroking the acid onto the teeth’s surface.
These bite-sized candies are a Halloween staple. Due to their small size, many people eat numerous handfuls of them in one sitting. You should avoid candy corn for numerous reasons. Their main ingredients are corn syrup and sugar, both of which result in the decay of a tooth. Additionally, they contain 140 calories for every 19 pieces. Though they may seem non-toxic, one can easily eat more than 400 calories and 10 spoonfuls of sugar in just a short sitting.
Chewy and Sticky Candy
In general, the more glutinous a candy is, the more detrimental it is for your teeth. Sticky candies lodge themselves in your teeth’s grooves and pits; this makes it difficult for saliva to wash away the acid that causes cavities. Chewy candies that stick to the teeth prolong the length of time that acid has to eat away at your enamel.
Nobody wants to skip Halloween altogether, and we’re not saying you have to! But it’s always a good idea to exercise moderation, and a little bit of information about which candies are the worst may just save you from a cavity or two down the road. And staying current with your regular dental checkups is always extremely important, but if you’ve been putting it off, post-Halloween is a great time to have your teeth checked out!