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The Best and WORST Treats for Your Teeth

halloween and the dentistIt’s trick-or-treating season, and the candy is everywhere! But did you know that some treats are actually dangerous? As dentists, we see a lot of broken teeth and lost fillings at this time of year. Before you bite into a candy apple or pop a gobstopper into your mouth, beware! Don’t let a sweet treat turn into a dental emergency this Halloween—here’s our guide to the best and worst treats for your teeth.

The Best and Worst Halloween Treats for Teeth

BEST: Apples
WORST: Candy Apples

An apple a day keeps the dentist away, or so they say! Though you might not consider apples to be a treat, they’re a sweet-tart alternative that’s actually good for your teeth.

Apples have a lot of fiber, which “brushes” your teeth and fights plaque buildup. They also have lots of water, which hydrates your mouth and wash away bad bacteria.

If you add a little almond butter to your apple slices, you’ll even get some extra calcium, which is great for building strong tooth enamel. But, if you coat an apple in a sticky, sugary caramel or candy coating, you’re losing out on all of the apple’s benefits and putting your teeth at risk.

BEST: Soft Candy
WORST: Hard Candy

Try as you might resist, it’s likely that you’re going to bite down at some point when you eat hard candy. Jolly ranchers, peppermints, and lifesavers are all hard enough to crack a tooth or break a crown. And splinters from a shattered hard candy could get stuck between your teeth or scratch up your gums.

However, even if you do resist the temptation to crunch hard candy, you’re going to be sucking on it for a long time. The longer that everlasting gobstoppers, lollipops, and atomic fireballs take to eat, the longer your teeth get exposed to sugar.

Sugar doesn’t cause cavities on its own, but it feeds the bacteria that cause cavities. Hard candy is one the worst for your teeth, because of the risk of tooth fractures and the higher risk of cavities. Soft candies like skittles or candy corn won’t leave sugar lingering in your mouth as long, so they’re a little better for your teeth.

BEST: Melty
WORST: Sticky

Any candy that can stick to your teeth—like laffy taffy, caramels, or starburst—can hide in cracks and crevices and feed the bacteria that cause tooth decay. Plus, sticky candies also have a tendency to pull out fillings and loosen crowns. Even dried fruits can be dangerous for your teeth.

Candies that melt—like M&Ms and other chocolates—are a much more tooth-friendly option. Your saliva should be able to wash away the sugar from melty candy before it can do much damage. Just remember to chew carefully if your chocolate contains any hard ingredients like nuts.

Teeth Cleanings in Spring Branch, Texas

Now that you know which are the best and worst treats for your teeth, we hope you’ll make some smart choices. However, it’s always a good idea to get a cleaning and exam after Halloween ends, just in case.

Visit our office for a checkup and we’ll make sure your teeth are strong and healthy. We have a special offer for new patients, too—pay only $59 for your first cleaning, exam, and digital x-rays. Give us a call today or schedule an appointment online.

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