What are your plans for this Halloween?
Whether you’re taking the conservative route and handing out candy at home or you’re a bit more daring and are going to your city’s block party, chances are, candy will be consumed. In fact, Americans spend 2.3 Billion dollars on candy alone on Halloween, and this number continues to grow. Since candy consumption is pretty much inevitable on Halloween, let’s take a look at which candy options are least harmful to your teeth.
While people like to simplify things when possible, it’s not realistic to consider all candy as equally damaging to your teeth. For example, sour candies are considered the worst of the worst, mostly due to their high amounts of sugar and acid. Chewy candies are known to be terrible as well, since they stick to your teeth, causing lingering damage over time. Much like there are candies that are notoriously bad for your smile, some candies cause minimal damage.
For reasons that vary between easily washing off of the teeth and low sugar content, feel free to snack on the following candy types this Halloween as they’ll cause the least damage to your teeth.
From Jolly Ranchers to Reese’s Cups, most candies are available in sugar-free versions. Since sugar is the main part of candy that causes cavities and decay for your teeth, buying candy that lacks that sugar will be a vast improvement. Whether you prefer hard candies or chocolates, get the sugar-free variation and your teeth will thank you.
Example Product: Sugar-free York Peppermint Patties
A study conducted over a decade ago in Osaka, Japan indicated that not only is dark chocolate excellent for you in moderation but that it’s great for your teeth. The researchers determined that Cocoa Bean Husk (CBH) is beneficial to your teeth and that it should even be added to toothpaste. Dark chocolate contains less sugar than its milky counterpart, and a majority of dentists have accepted that so long as it’s low in sugar, cocoa-based candies can be good for your teeth.
If you’re a chocolate connoisseur, you may have seen how some chocolate bars have a percentage that indicates the amount of cocoa in the bar. For maximum chocolate and minimal sugar, opt for bars that have over 70% chocolate. In addition to avoiding sugar, you’ll reap more of the benefits of your dark chocolate.
Example Product: Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate 72%
Creamy chocolates such as the miniature bars sold by Hershey’s are one of the most popular candies that are handed out on Halloween. Luckily, they have physical characteristics that make them not too bad for your teeth. The same factor that makes creamy chocolate a decent option is the factor that makes taffy one of the worst – the stickiness, or lack thereof.
Creamy chocolate has sugar, but the negative effects of the sugar don’t last long. That’s because chocolate melts, especially if you wash it away with water shortly after. Since this candy doesn’t cling to the teeth and falls off of them rather easily, it poses minimal threat to your smile this Halloween so long as you brush after the festivities are over.
Example Product: Assorted Hershey’s Miniatures
While those other options cause the least damage to your teeth, sugar-free gum with Xylitol actually is good for them. In fact, if you tell your dentist that you regularly chew sugar-free gum with Xylitol, and they’ll probably be very proud of your progress. The chewing action stimulates saliva, which is your mouth’s natural defense system, and the Xylitol plays a role in preventing cavities.
Just because sugar-free gum is beneficial to your teeth doesn’t mean it has to lack the fun of the rest of your Halloween candy. Brands like Trident, Five, and Stride offer unique flavors while still packing the benefits that are excellent for your teeth.
Example Product: Stride Sweet Berry Sugarless Gum
If you’re someone who likes to eat your body weight in candy on Halloween, then it may be smart to arrange a dental visit shortly after the holiday. Dr. Shah and his team will give you a thorough exam, cleaning your teeth and ensuring that there are no signs of cavities or gum disease. After the fun is over this Halloween, let us take care of your smile – Contact us today!