13October

The Best (and Worst) Candy for Your Teeth this Halloween

Get the inside scoop from a dental professional on the least bad and most bad candy.

CandyOctober has arrived, which means it won't be long before the little ones don their best princess and Iron Man costumes to venture out for tricks and treats, and the adults will sample said treats to ensure they're safe (Safety first!).

With the exception of dark chocolate, no candy is good for your teeth, per se. There are the low level of offenders, and then there are the supermax candies that should be locked up and the key thrown into the bowels of Mount Doom. Below are our picks for the least offensive versus the most offensive confections for your teeth.

The Preferred Candy

  • Dark Chocolate – While you may be familiar with dark chocolate's antioxidant properties for reducing inflammation, studies have also shown that this sweet treat may be more effective than fluoride at preventing cavities, plaque, and tooth decay.
  • Sugarless Gum/Candy – Bacteria thrive on sugar, throwing the balance of bacteria to pH in your mouth out of whack. You can avoid this with sugarless gums and candies, although there is still some of concern from health professionals when it comes to sugar substitutes.
  • Candy bars Containing Nuts – By breaking up the stickiness and providing protein, nuts can offset some of the worst aspects of the average candy bar.

The Cavity Causers

  • "Sticky" Candy – As you might expect, sticky candy (taffy, Tootsie Rolls) just makes it more difficult to remove from your teeth, allowing for cavities to develop.
  • Suckers – Because sucking on candy for extended periods exposes your teeth for longer to cavity causing sugars, candy like suckers and hard candies are frowned upon by dental professionals.
  • Gummy Candy – The acids found in gummy candy (we're looking at you gummy worms) eat enamel, reducing your teeth's protection and exposing nerves, which can cause sensitivity.

When you share in your children's candy collection this Halloween, remember moderation, choose the preferred candies listed above, and be sure to brush and floss afterwards. The Summit OMS wishes everyone a safe and spooktacular October.

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