It’s that time again! Costumes, parties, and the delicious candy that Halloween brings. But parents beware! Halloween can also bring with it tooth decay and cavities if you’re not careful. Your dentist in Charlottesville discusses the best and worst candy for your teeth and offers some helpful tips for having a healthy Halloween.
Understanding The Effects of Sugar
To figure out how to best navigate Halloween candy, we first must discuss how sugar affects your teeth. You see, it’s not sugar itself that causes cavities, but rather the chain reaction that it starts.
The plaque that builds up on your teeth is filled with bacteria that are fueled by sugar. The byproduct they produce is acid that weakens and eats away at your tooth enamel, which results in tooth decay and cavities.
The Worst Culprits
Now that we understand how sugar causes tooth decay, let’s take a look at some of the worst candy culprits that it’s best to avoid:
- Sticky Candy: Treats such as gummies, taffy, and caramel tend to stick to your teeth, which allow them to stay around longer and cause decay.
- Hard Candy: These present a double whammy for your teeth. If you suck on them they have a longer opportunity to cause decay, while if you bite into hard candy it can cause fractures or cracks in your teeth.
- Popcorn: Caramel corn or popcorn balls are delicious but sticky, and the kernels can get stuck in your teeth or irritate your gums.
- Sour Candy: Another double whammy. Sour candies are coated in sugar, but they are also highly acidic, which breaks down tooth enamel.
Your Best Bet
Chocolate lovers rejoice! This treat is probably your best bet, especially dark chocolate because it has less sugar than milk chocolate. This may also be your best option to hand out to other children.
Instead of keeping your child’s entire candy haul around the house, plan ahead of time for each person in the family to choose a few of their favorite items and then donate the rest. Many dentists offer candy take-back programs to help families reduce their treat consumption.
If you need more tips or have questions about your oral health, contact your dentist in Charlottesville today to learn more.
About the Author
Dr. Hal M. Lippard, or “Dr. Hal,” has been serving patients in Charlottesville, VA for over twenty years. Our boutique office offers personalized dental care that allows us to get to know our patients and their families. Advanced technology gives us the ability to make your experience more comfortable and efficient.
Would you like to contact Dr. Hal? He can be reached through his website or by calling 434-293-9311.