Halloween is nearly here! Ghosts, goblins, ghouls and gobs and gobs and gobs of CANDY. Halloween is the holiday that sells the most candy, well ahead of Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Would you believe one quarter of all the candy purchased annually in the United States is purchased for Halloween?
And even more interesting is that it was a dentist (William Morrison) who was instrumental in creating one of the greatest confectionary delights – cotton candy! In 1897, Morrison and John Wharton collaborated to create and market what they called “fairy floss”, known today as cotton candy. It cost 25 cents a box to purchase at the turn of the century, which was a hefty cost for the times when it was debuted at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.
Candy is a broad term for loads of various sweet treats that people of all ages love to indulge in. Candy often gets a bad rap for causing cavities in children. The truth is this: when the bacterial in your mouth feast on the sugar and leftover food bits, acid is produced. It is this acid that weakens teeth and contributes to candy. If your little surfers are brushing and flossing on a regular basis, indulging in some sweet treats on Halloween doesn’t equal instant cavities.
There are differences in how different candies affects your teeth.
Chocolate is probably one of the better options since it washes easily off your teeth. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, in addition to having loads of other health benefits.
These options can do a number on your teeth. Not only do we tend to keep hard candy in our mouths longer, they can also break your teeth if you bite down on them. By nature, hard candies are meant to be sucked on and to dissolve slowly over time. This just allows bacteria more time to feast and create cavities.
Gummy Bears & Sticky Candies:
Any kind of sticky candy is stubborn and harder to remove out of your teeth. The longer it sits on your teeth, the more time bacteria has time to work and create cavity-causing acid. So limit the sticky goodies as much as you can.
Popcorn or Popcorn Balls:
File the sticky popcorn balls with gummy bears and other sticky cndies. These guys are notorious for getting stuck in between teeth. A vigorous flossing session will be needed after enjoying popcorn any day, not just on Halloween!
Typically the process to create sour flavored candies includes citric acid. This results in a very low pH level. Teeth without protective enamel can be damaged more easily, and some sour candies can be so sour they can burn the gums, cheeks and tongue.
All of us at Smile Surfers hope you have a fun and safe Halloween. As we stated earlier, it’s acceptable to enjoy some Halloween treats if you continue to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Being aware of how different foods affect your teeth will help you make smart choices!
Smile Surfers Pediatric Dentists
If you have any questions the levels of candy, sugar or sweets that is appropriate for your little surfer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our board-certified pediatric dentists!
Two locations to serve you:
Richland: (509) 946-9999 www.Richland.SmileSurfers.com
Sumner: (253) 833-5137 www.Sumner.SmileSurfers.com