By Jasmine Patel
With Halloween right around the corner, you should know which treats are tricking you, and which you can trust. No candy is created equal, and some are definitely hazardous to your teeth’s health. But fear not! There are some treats that aren’t so bad for your teeth, and it won’t hurt if you treat yourself to one… or two. (Let’s be honest, we’re not counting when it comes to Halloween). So here’s your quick guide to what candies to seek out, and which to stay away from this trick-or-treating season:
The Treats You Can Trust
- Dark Chocolate. According to several studies, dark chocolate may be better at fighting tooth decay than flouride! CBH, a chemical compound found in dark chocolate, helps harden tooth enamel, protecting your teeth from decay. Other compounds in the chocolate help fight against bacteria and protect against plaque. So go ahead and have the extra piece of chocolate, as long as it’s dark! Your teeth (and your dentist) will thank you later.
- Candy Bars with Nuts. Nuts can break up the stickiness in candy that is detrimental to your teeth. They act as a buffer against the sugars in the candy, so the sugar doesn’t stick around long enough to do too much damage.
- Powdery Candy. Though it’s full of sugar and not ideal, powdery candy is not sticky, and it dissolves very quickly. It’s a better alternative to sticky candy because saliva washes it away before the sugars and acids can do much harm.
The Trickster Treats
- Stay Away From Sticky! The stickier the candy, the worse it is for your teeth. That’s looking at you, Tootsie Roll and Laffy Taffy. The stickiness of these candies and their high concentration of sugar can lead to cavities. So swap out these sticky candies for some sugar-free gum or a sugarless candy alternative!
- Hard Candies. When you’re sucking on a candy all day, your teeth are exposed to all the bad sugars that come with it. You’ll be safer if you brush and floss right after eating a lollipop, but remember, frequency of exposure is often worse than quantity! Hard candies can also break your teeth if you’re not careful. When it comes to hard candies, proceed with caution!
- Gummy Candies. Though you might love chewing on a gummy worm, that worm doesn’t love your teeth! It’s the most acidic, and acid wears down your protective tooth enamel. Tooth enamel also serves as insulation for your teeth, so when it’s broken down by harmful acids, the nerves are exposed and you’ll be more prone to temperature-sensitive teeth.