Whether it’s candy corn, chocolate bars, or gummy worms, everyone has a favorite Halloween treat. However, some treats can put your teeth in peril! Halloween candy can cause missing fillings, broken braces, chipped teeth, cavities, and more. To help you (and your kids) make smarter choices, here’s our list of the BEST and WORST treats for your teeth.
BEST Treats for Your Teeth
- Sugar-Free Candy
Everyone knows that sugar is bad for teeth, but that doesn’t mean you have to pass on sweet treats altogether. Candy made with xylitol, a natural, plant-based sweetener, is actually good for your teeth. Unlike sugar, xylitol does not cause tooth decay, and actually helps prevent cavities. You can even use it as a sugar substitute in baked goods and treats like fudge.
- Sugar-Free Gum
Without any of the bad effects of sugar and all the benefits of xylitol, sugar-free gum has yet another advantage. When you chew gum, it stimulates your saliva production, which is very good for your teeth. Saliva keeps your mouth hydrated and washes away the bacteria that cause plaque and tartar.
- Fresh Fruit
Some fruits are better than others—citrus fruits have a lot of acids, and aren’t very good for your teeth. Dried fruits and fruit leathers can also be bad for teeth because they’re very sticky. But fruits like apples and pears are good because they’re rich in fiber that “brushes” your teeth as you chew. And fruits like melons and plums have a high water content to help keep your mouth hydrated.
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
Even though coffee and sugar are not good for your teeth, this seasonal sweet treat makes our “nice” list because of the calcium in dairy (or almond) milk. Calcium is one of the main components of strong, healthy bones and teeth. It helps remineralize your tooth enamel, which protects your teeth from cavities.
WORST Treats for Your Teeth
- Caramel Popcorn
This Halloween treat is double trouble for teeth! Not only does it have hard kernels with shells that can break a tooth and husks that get caught between your teeth or under your gums, it’s also coated in sticky, sugary caramel. Pieces of caramel corn can get stuck on your teeth and become magnets for plaque. Caramel popcorn is one of the WORST treats for your teeth.
- Hard Candy
Jawbreakers got their name for a reason—if you bite down on them, it sort of does feel like you broke your jaw. But whether or not they can literally break jaws, hard candies can definitely break teeth. Unfortunately, we see far too many dental emergencies like cracked teeth, chipped teeth, broken braces and broken crowns during the Halloween season.
- Sticky Candy
We already mentioned caramel and dried fruit, but other sticky candies like gummies and taffy are just as bad for teeth. And even if apples are good for teeth, candy apples and caramel apples are not. Anything sticky that lets sugar sit on your teeth for an extended period of time gives plaque and cavities more of a chance to grow. Plus, sticky treats can also pull out fillings and loosen crowns.
Family-Friendly Dentist in San Antonio
The team at Enhance Dental wants you to have a fun and tooth-friendly trick-or-treat. We’re here to help your whole family keep their teeth healthy this Halloween. If you need an emergency appointment, please give us a call right away. If you’d like to schedule exams and cleanings for your kids after the treats are all gone, schedule today.