Trick-or-treating may be up in the air for 2020, but one thing that’s definitely not canceled? Halloween candy. We’ll still be able to enjoy festive goodies, even if we have to buy bags of our favorite treats ourselves. The only downside? Candy is still bad for our teeth. Matthew Messina, a dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association explains that the reason candy is harmful to teeth is that bacteria in your mouth burn the sugar, creating acid as a byproduct. That acid then dissolves tooth enamel, and that’s what causes cavities.
Dr. Messina warns that these are the candies to avoid to keep your smile happy and healthy:
- Sticky candy- The worst offenders? Chewy candies like taffy and anything gummy because they linger on the teeth, which gives them more time to cause tooth decay. Caramels are in this group too and all of these can do damage to fillings, braces and orthodontic appliances.
- Sour candies- These are bad for teeth in two ways since they contain both sugar and acid. The acid breaks down tooth enamel, which is the hard outer shell that protects teeth.
- Lollipops- Like their cousins, hard candies, these are meant to be enjoyed slowly, meaning teeth are exposed to sugar for a lot longer than they are with treats you chew quickly. And if you dare to bite down on one, the American Dental Association warns it can fracture a tooth if you’re not careful!
And now for the good news:
- Chocolates- It turns out one of the tastiest things to find in your kids’ Halloween haul is actually one of the best when it comes to oral hygiene. Dr. Messina explains that because chocolate doesn’t linger on teeth for too long, it’s less of a risk for tooth decay than some other candy options.
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