Halloween is just around the corner, and for lots of kids (and more than a few adults) all around the country, that means one thing: Candy. These sugary treats are a tasty way to celebrate the occasion, but in a lot of cases, they can wreak havoc on your teeth. Luckily, there are a variety of tasty Halloween candies that won’t cause any permanent harm to your teeth. So what Halloween candy should you stock up on to hand out to the trick-or-treaters, and what should you leave on the shelf? Here’s what you need to know.
DENTIST-APPROVED HALLOWEEN SNACKS YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE
Believe it or not, there are some amazing treats that won’t do as much harm to your teeth as most people would believe. Any kind of sugar-free candy or gum is a great choice. The acid-producing bacteria that contribute to tooth decay need sugar to form, so a sugar-free treat is essentially harmless. Chewing gum made with xylitol is a prime choice, as are xylitol-based candies like Ice Chips.
Looking for a more traditional style of treat, like a caramel toffee or a chocolate pecan cluster? Opt for a sugar-free version, like those produced by the dentist-founded confectionary Dr. John’s Thoughtfully Crafted Sweets. These candies use xylitol sweetener instead of sugar, which can prevent tooth decay.
Chocolate is another good choice. The calcium in chocolate can have a protective effect on your teeth, and as it tends to dissolve quickly, plain chocolate is a better choice than most other Halloween treats. Want to go the extra mile? Opt for dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate. Dark chocolate that is at least 70% pure cocoa contains bacteria-fighting compounds like antioxidants and tannins – as well as theobromine, a naturally occurring compound that has been shown in research labs to strengthen tooth enamel.
CAVITY-INDUCING FOODS YOU’LL WANT TO AVOID
Unlike pure chocolate, a chocolate bar with caramel or nut filling is a threat to your teeth. Chocolate with fillings is harder to chew and can stick to your teeth, promoting decay. Hard candy is also a choice you’ll want to avoid. Because it tends to stay in your mouth for a longer period of time, hard candy coats your teeth in a layer of sugar that bacteria can feed on.
But the worst offender by far is chewy candy. Chewy treats like gummy bears and Starburst tend to be extremely high in sugar. They’re also very hard to remove from your teeth, and hard for your saliva to break down. So skip the taffy and opt for a healthier snack instead.
Halloween is a fun and exciting time of year for children and adults, and a big part of the fun is getting to try all sorts of different candies. Are you planning to give out treats this year? Instead of the high-sugar chewy candies, stock up on chocolate, gum, and xylitol-based candy – your trick-or-treaters’ parents will thank you. Want to learn more about keeping your children’s teeth healthy? Contact Badie Dental at (520) 325-3022 to book an appointment with Dr. Badie.