Anticipation is building with the approach of Halloween, a time kids and adults alike love for its sheer variety of candy.
Just remember, though: Candy can compromise your dental health. At Concierge Dental Group, we believe it’s possible to enjoy end-of-October festivities without adversely affecting your dental health.
The Halloween candy hierarchy according to dental health
To help you make informed choices about Halloween treats, we’ve categorized them based on how potentially harmful they are to dental health.
Here they are, from best to worst:
- Non-edible treats: Stickers don’t hurt your teeth. Ditto temporary tattoos and glow sticks. Stuff not eaten has no effect on dental health. (This would include candy that you don’t like or that your spouse pilfers, of course, but let’s not muddy the issue.) The bottom line is that non-edible treats are fun and tooth-healthy. And they last longer than candy.
- Healthy snacks: We encourage everyone to eat healthy snacks such as fruits and veggies all year round. On Halloween, you can stay true to the spirit of this commitment by treating yourself to pouches of unsweetened applesauce, no-sugar-added juice boxes, and other healthy snacking alternatives.
- Chocolate: You’ll be pleased to hear that (1) not all candy is bad for your teeth and (2) this includes chocolate—yes, chocolate! Both plain and milk chocolate. How could this be? Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and doesn’t stick for long to the teeth. Moderation is key. So is rinsing your mouth after eating chocolate.
- Crunchy snacks: Chips. Pretzels. Popcorn. These tend to get stuck between the teeth, there to serve as a feeding ground for bacteria. (Under such circumstances, the starch in such snacks converts to sugar.) If you do indulge, be sure to thoroughly clean your teeth afterward.
- Sticky or hard candy: Bringing up the bottom of our snack-ranking are treats such as taffy, caramel, and hard candies. These cling to the teeth, there to provide a source of sugar for bacteria and promote decay. Avoid or minimize these treats.
Maintaining dental health this Halloween
At Concierge Dental, we advise against a completely restrictive diet, as it can lead to overindulgence. Instead, foster healthy habits while allowing occasional indulgences.
Remember to maintain a routine of brushing twice a day and scheduling regular dental check-ups. If it has been a while since your last check-up, book an appointment with us today—and enjoy a Halloween that’s both fun and tooth-friendly!