Halloween & Candy – Your Dental Survival Guide

Stores are full of Halloween paraphernalia and are already piling up stocks of sweets and other goodies for eager Trick or Treaters. While it is a fun celebration, all the sugar in those sweet treats can harm your teeth unless you have a plan.

The reason why sweets are so bad for your dental health is because of bacteria naturally present in your mouth, and these are just as excited as you are to eat sugary foods. These bacteria thrive on leftover particles in your mouth and thank you by producing a weak acid that softens your tooth enamel, contributing to your risk of cavities. However, there is no need to cancel your Halloween plans just yet as eating sweets on the day probably won’t do too much harm to your teeth, provided you follow a good oral care routine every day, all year round. Also, it can help tremendously if you choose your sweets wisely, as some are better for your teeth than others.

Chocolate

If you love your chocolate, there is some good news, as it’s probably one of the better sweets to eat on Halloween. This is because chocolate quickly melts and is more easily washed away by saliva. It’s even better news if you love dark chocolate because it is lower in sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky Sweets

Sticky sweets might be fun to eat, but they are hard to remove from your teeth and are some of the worst around for your dental health. The longer sweets stick to your teeth, the more time those harmful bacteria can spend getting to work, producing more acid to attack your tooth enamel.

Hard Sweets

Some hard sweets seem to last forever, and the longer they last, the more your teeth are bathed in sugar. Also, some of these hard sweets can break your teeth if you happen to bite down too hard, so approach hard candies with caution.

Sour Sweets

Sour lollies may make you pucker up with pleasure, but they can be very acidic. The acidity will weaken your tooth enamel, worsening the effect of the acids already produced by bacteria and making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

Popcorn

Popcorn may seem relatively healthy, but some kernels, especially unpopped ones, can get stuck between your teeth. Inadvertently biting down on an unpopped kernel can crack or chip your teeth. Popcorn is especially bad if it is sticky and sugary. If you enjoy eating popcorn, make sure you have some dental floss handy afterwards.

Brush and Floss After Your Sugar Fix

It’s better to enjoy your sweet treats all at once, preferably after a main meal. Ideally, swish your mouth with water afterwards to help wash away any loose food particles. Wait at least thirty minutes before brushing your teeth, as this gives your mouth a chance to become less acidic. As the pH levels normalise, your tooth enamel will re-harden slightly, so it’s safe to brush and floss without damaging your teeth.