The sugar and acids, along with the sticky and gummy consistencies from getting treats rather than tricks, can have long-lasting effects on your teeth if left unchecked.
To help you know which candy to avoid and which to eat (in moderation), we’ll cover:
The worst Halloween candy for your teeth
The best candy for your teeth
Don’t let your treat turn into a trick, especially one that you play on yourself. Keep reading to learn the effects of Halloween candy on your teeth and about smart choices you can make to protect them.
The Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth
There are three main types of candy you should try to avoid to protect your teeth this Halloween, or any Halloween for that matter. They are:
Sticky and gummy candy
Sticky and gummy candy are easily some of the worst for your dental health. Their sticky and gummy consistency causes them to adhere to your teeth for much longer than other types and makes them harder to remove. This means that it has more time to eat away at your enamel and cause cavities than other types of candy.
Hard candy is already full of sugar that can deteriorate the enamel of your teeth. Since they’re supposed to be sucked on rather than chewed, they’ll spend more time in your mouth softening your enamel. Another problem with this type of candy is that they’re hard. You have a much greater risk of breaking a tooth on one if you decide to bite rather than chew them.
Sour candy has more citrus-based acids than other types that can harm the enamel of your teeth. Like we pointed out in our article on nutrition and oral health, the acids from fruits such as lemons and limes erode the enamel of your teeth and can eventually lead to tooth decay. That’s why it’s a good idea to avoid them or only eat them very sparingly.
We understand there’s not really any such thing as a healthy candy. Also, candy is kind of the point of Halloween and you should definitely enjoy a treat or two with the crazy year we’ve all had. Just make sure that you’re not eating them all year long, or that you’re choosing a slightly better type of candy over the ones on our list.
Now that we’ve established some ground rules, let’s look at some examples of the worst candy for your teeth regardless of the holiday.
People have strong opinions when it comes to candy corn, but haters rejoice—you have one more season to dislike this controversial Halloween candy. Candy corn is easily one of the worst types of candy for your teeth.
A serving of sticky candy corn contains about 28 grams of sugar per serving. To put that in perspective, the recommended daily serving of sugar is between 25 – 36 depending on whether you’re male or female. Its two primary ingredients are corn syrup and sugar which are prime suspects in the fight against tooth decay.
We all know that blue raspberry is the best flavor of Jolly Rancher, but having too many can wreak havoc on your teeth. These classic treats are going to spend a lot of time dissolving and coating your teeth. At 11 grams of sugar per serving (3 pieces), they’ll spend that entire time eating away at your enamel.
Sour Patch Kids
Like sour candy in general, Sour Patch Kids use acidic ingredients to provide their lip-puckering taste. These acids deteriorate your enamel and eventually result in cavities. What makes Sour Patch Kids even worse is that they’re also gummy candy. This means they provide a double-whammy of acidic and sugary ingredients that will stick to your teeth.
Don’t let the fact that it’s real fruit fool you. While dried fruit may be healthier for you in some ways, it’s as bad for your teeth as any other type of candy. Along with being sticky, dried fruit has a much higher concentration of sugar than regular fruit. Dried fruit still packs plenty of other health benefits. Eat them as an occasional snack or use them as a topping on a healthy meal like a salad.
The Best Candy for Your Teeth
Just because candy is bad for your teeth doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to enjoy yourself. It’s okay to enjoy candy from the above list occasionally, but people with a bigger sweet tooth may be left wondering what options they have if any at all. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the best Halloween candy for your teeth that you can enjoy any time of year!
Great news for chocoholics! It turns out that chocolate is one of the best types of candy you can have. This is because it melts quickly and is much easier to brush off or rinse away with water. Opt for dark chocolate if you can. It’s made from cocoa beans and actually provides benefits such as hardening your enamel as well as fighting plaque and bacteria.
Sure, chewing gum has both chew and gum in its name and could lead you to believe that it’s like other chewy and gummy candies. However, chewing gum actually provides tons of oral health benefits such as increased saliva production. This means that you’re actually “washing” your teeth while you chew.
Keep in mind that not all chewing gums are created equal. Look for brands that are sugar-free and contain xylitol. It’s a natural sweetener that counteracts the effects of acid-producing bacteria.
Not only are nuts healthy and provide some extra protein, but they also help prevent sticky substances from getting attached to your teeth. The small nuts contained in candy bars help scrub your teeth so sugar sticks around for less time than candy bars without them.
Halloween can be a difficult time if you’re concerned about the health of your teeth. While you don’t have to avoid candy altogether, you can definitely make better choices while satisfying your sweet tooth. With that said, it’s okay to enjoy the occasional Sour Patch Kid or blue raspberry Jolly Rancher. Just make sure that you’re not eating them by the handful.