According to dentists, these three Halloween treats are the most likely to do damage.
It’s that time of year again: Soon, children will go door-to-door begging for candy that they’ll gleefully devour with no regard to their dental health.
When you eat candy, the bacteria in your mouth produces an acid that can cause cavities.
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You’d think dentists would abhor the holiday. Some do—according to the American Dental Association (ADA), 24 percent of dentists don’t give out candy on Halloween. But that means the vast majority do indulge trick-or-treaters with sugary treats.
“Halloween is about candy, dressing up and having fun,” says ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty. “It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween as a splurge as long as you’re brushing twice a day and flossing once a day all year long.”
So what candy is your best bet? The ADA released a list of the best, and worst, treats for your teeth.
Surprisingly, chocolate is least likely to negatively impact your teeth.
“Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”
That is very good to know.
Here’s what to avoid:
Sticky and gummy candies
“This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work,” Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says.
Hard candies can break your teeth if you’re not careful, according to Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. You also tend to keep these in your mouth longer, allowing the sugar more time to mix with saliva and coat your teeth.
“Sour candy can be very acidic,” says Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty. “And that acidity can weaken and damage the hard outer shell of your teeth, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.”
Floss, floss, floss if you plan to eat a popcorn ball this Halloween.
“Kernels can get stuck in-between your teeth," Dr. Ferraz-Dougherty says. "They are also sticky, sugary and can be hard.”