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 confectionery 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 cavities.
If your little surfer is brushing and flossing regularly, indulging in some sweet treats on Halloween doesn’t equal instant cavities.
But there are differences in how different candies affects your teeth. Let’s review them!
The best vs. worst Halloween candy for teeth
Chocolate is probably one of the better options since it easily washes off teeth.
Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate, in addition to having loads of other health benefits.
2. Hard candy
These options can do a number on your teeth. Not only do we tend to keep hard candy in our mouths longer, but 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 allows bacteria more time to feast and creates cavities.
Try to avoid hard candy!
3. Gummy bears and 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 can work and create cavity-causing acid.
So limit the sticky goodies as much as you can.
4. Popcorn or popcorn balls
File the sticky popcorn balls with gummy bears and other sticky candies.
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!
5. Sour candies
Typically, the process to create sour flavored candies includes citric acid. This results in a very low pH level – not good for your oral health.
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.
Have a Happy Halloween
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 your child continues 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! Hint: Chocolate is one of the safer options!
If you have any questions on the levels of candy, sugar, or sweets appropriate for your little surfer, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our board-certified pediatric dentists!
Need to get your child’s teeth cleaned after trick or treating?
Most kids need their teeth cleaned every six months to remove built-up plaque and prevent dental problems, like cavities.
If your child is almost due or overdue, contact us to schedule an appointment today.
You can visit us at our two convenient locations, Sumner and Richland, WA.