Although many things are different this year, Halloween will likely still involve plenty of spooky things—candy and tooth decay included. What is it about candy that causes trouble with our teeth? A common misconception is that the sugar in candy is solely responsible. There is, however, a bit more to it.
What Does Candy Do to Teeth?
According to the American Dental Association, the sugar itself is not the cause of the cavities. When any food, candy included, is introduced into the mouth, the bacteria living there eat all the sugar and the leftover food. The result is a weak acid that’s left behind to eat away at the teeth and eventually leads to cavities and tooth decay.
An increase in candy and sugar can certainly lead to the production of more decaying acid in the mouth, but as long as you are brushing and flossing regularly most dentists agree that it’s ok to splurge a little on Halloween and enjoy the holiday, candy and all.
Halloween Candy to Avoid
While the occasional splurge on treats isn’t the worst thing, there are certainly some candies that are worse for your teeth than others. Candy that washes away from your teeth easily with saliva and water, like chocolate, are your safest bet. When it comes to the following candies, however, proceed with caution:
- Gummy and sticky candy – candy that gets stuck on the teeth and is harder to remove can prove serious trouble. The bacteria takes much longer to break down these candies and produces far more acid, worsening the risk of decay significantly.
- Hard candy – another common culprit to watch out for, hard candies tend to stay in your mouth much longer than other options and can even break your teeth if you’re not careful. Additionally, the extended sucking of hard candy allows the sugar to get into your saliva and wash over your teeth, leaving behind a sugary residue.
- Sour candy – sour candies are usually very acidic. These extra acids are troublesome for the enamel on your teeth and can contribute to cavities.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here For You
Though Halloween candy probably won’t cause too much trouble to your teeth, if you find yourself dealing with tooth decay, a broken tooth, or any other spooky oral health maladies, Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah can help. Our board-certified oral surgeons are experienced in methods to treat a wide variety of oral health problems. We work hard to provide our patients with the best personalized care.
We have offices in Cottonwood Heights, Tooele and South Jordan, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!