Happy Halloween! Every Halloween we offer you a spooktacular Halloween special as our treat and as a way to help you with Halloween candy damage recovery. But have you ever wondered (or asked your favorite Los Angeles dentist) which candies are better and which candies are worse for your teeth?
Of course, from all dental professionals’ perspective, having no Halloween candy at all is the best Halloween candy – think Willie Wonka’s father and his disgust for sweets. So, just because we put a particular variety of Halloween candy under “better” category in this dentist review, it doesn’t mean we really encourage its conspicuous consumption.
But not all Halloween sweets are created equal and some candies are less damaging to your teeth than others. So, the next time you indulge, like this Halloween, we hope you make candy choices that are best for your dental health. And whichever candy you end up eating, make sure to brush, floss, and rinse as soon as you can to minimize the damage to your teeth.
Halloween Candy That’s Better for Your Teeth
Dark chocolate is by far the best candy for your teeth and may be even more effective than fluoride at fighting tooth decay. According to several studies, there is a compound in chocolate that helps harden tooth enamel. Other compounds in cocoa beans also have antibacterial effect and can help fight plaque. Obviously, milk chocolate contain less cocoa beans and. Therefore, less of those beneficial compounds but significantly more sugar, which is again bad for your teeth and good for bacteria.
Yes, sugarless sweets do exist! Usually these are candies with stevia or candies for people with diabetes. Since sugar feeds bacteria and upsets the healthy ratios of acidity and bacteria in the mouth, sugarless candy may be a healthier option for your teeth. On the flip side, some sugar substitutes and sugarless candy can have other chemicals in them that may be detrimental to your health in other ways.
Candy with Nuts
A lot of nuts in candies or candy bars can help reduce stickiness and it’s the stickiness of candy that increases your chances of getting cavities. So having nuts, along with protein and fiber they contain, can reduce the damage of the sticky and sweet ingredients of the candy. Nuts can also help break up some of the bacterial biofilm of the teeth. Ideally, you can choose candy and candy bars with nuts that are also extremely low in sugar and contain dark chocolate.
Halloween Candy That’s Worse for Your Teeth
The stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth (Jujubes and Tootsie Rolls – we are looking at you!). The negative effect of these sticky candies will linger because they literally stick to your teeth increasing your chances for getting a cavity. The same unfortunately goes for dried fruit, which is just as bad for your teeth because of the stickiness and high concentration of sugar.
When it comes to judging how bad a candy is for your teeth, duration of exposure is more harmful than frequency or quantity. If you eat your candy quickly and then brush and floss your teeth, its harmful effect is over quickly too, at least for your teeth. So it’s much better than sucking on a candy for an extended period of time, which is usually the case with lollipops. Frequency of exposure to sugar increases chance of harm to teeth, but if you throw it down the hatch and brush and floss right after, damage to teeth only can be somewhat minimized.
Sour candies, including gummy worms, are worse for your teeth, because they’re the most acidic. Acid is bad for your teeth as it wears down the tooth enamel, which protects your teeth. This makes it easier for teeth to become chipped or broken. Enamel also insulates the tooth. A lack of enamel can expose the nerves in your teeth, which are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature of the things you eat and drink.
Now that you know what candy to buy for yourself, your kids, and the trick-or-treaters that are likely to come by your house tonight, we hope that you enjoy your Halloween. Don’t forget to also check out and share our spooktacular Halloween special as our treat to you!
In pain or worried about your dental health after all the Halloween candy? For more information about our preventive and emergency dental services or with any questions, please call us at 213-486-0006 or make your appointment online.