HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 18, 2021 – The holiday season is just around the corner with Halloween the first stop this fall. Halloween’s biggest attraction are all the treats and sweets. But is it good for your teeth to indulge in the sugar?
Dental experts say Halloween isn’t necessarily evil and bad for you. It’s how much and for how long that you are consuming the sweets that can cause issues for your teeth.
HPU’s Dr. Scott De Rossi, founding dean for the School of Dental Medicine and Oral Health, and Dr. Jazmin Cromartie, assistant professor in the School of Dental Medicine and Oral Health, are available to share how to protect your oral health when Halloween rolls around.
Worst Halloween candy for your teeth:
- Sticky and gummy candies are harder to remove with a toothbrush. As a result, they can stick around longer on your teeth and hide in the grooves of your teeth.
- Hard candies: If you aren’t careful when biting, hard candy has the potential to fracture your teeth or cause small microfractures that can enlarge over time.
- Hard candies can take longer to consume, creating a sugar bath in your mouth. Over time, this can compromise the strength of your enamel, the protective outer layer of your tooth to keep your teeth healthy and strong.
- Sour candies: If they are sour with lots of sugar, beware. With their low pH, acidic candies can weaken and damage your enamel the more you consume them.
Safe options for Halloween:
- Chocolate: Dark chocolate is better than milk chocolate because of a lesser sugar content. Chocolate can also wash off your teeth much easier than other types of sticky candies.
- Sugar free candies: These candies often leave no sticky residue, and if sweetened with xylitol, that’s even better! Xylitol is a natural sugar that cavity-causing bacteria are unable to adhere to.
Post-Halloween teeth routine:
- You can rinse with water after consumption to balance the pH (acidity level) of your saliva.
- Make sure to not brush immediately after consuming candy or eating because that too can weaken your enamel.
- The American Dental Association recommends you wait at least 60 minutes after eating or drinking to brush your teeth.
- Dr. Cromartie can explain the process of what happens if you brush too soon or not at all after eating candy.
The best time to eat candy:
- The best time to indulge in sweets is during mealtimes. It is not recommended to snack on sweets in between meals as it prolongs the time your teeth are exposed to sugar or acidity during the day.