Sticky candies like toffees and gummy candies can get stuck in hard-to-clean areas between the teeth.
The acidity of sour candy – and even some sugarless treats – is hard on tooth enamel.
Dentists say chocolate and caramel apples are better options for Halloween.
Jelly candies take a long time to chew and can get lodged in your teeth.
âJelly candies are probably one of the worst (but sadly my favorite),â Ali told Insider. “It sticks to the teeth and needs to be chewed a lot more than other candies. Sugar is in contact with your teeth for a longer period of time, and sometimes it sticks in hard-to-clean areas like between your teeth.”
Like gummy candies, caramels are sticky and take a long time to dissolve.
âThe worst Halloween candies are usually the ones that ‘stay with you’ for a long time and take a while to dissolve, especially toffees and gummy candies,â said Dr Joyce Kahng, cosmetic dentist and assistant professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at USC.
Sticky candies like Starburst can pull on crowns and fillings.
âThese act like little sugar bombs that hang in the hard-to-reach crevices of your teeth until they finally dissolve,â Kahng said. “Starburst derivatives, such as Trader Joe’s version or Now and Laters, can also be tough on crowns and fillings by sticking and pulling on them.”
Lollipops may not be sticky, but they are eaten slowly, which means prolonged acidity that can wear down your teeth.
While pacifiers don’t get stuck between the teeth, they take a while to complete.
âLollipops are also sneaky – they’re not as sticky, but the activity of eating them takes a long time,â Kahng said. “The more time someone spends eating sweets, the more acidic their mouth is, so it’s best to keep these activities as short as possible.”
Sour powdered candies like Pixy Stix or Wonka Fun Dip are incredibly sour.
âIt’s all about balance. Literally. Keeping the pH in your mouth close to neutral (seven) is the name of the game,â Dr Aaleeyah Alim, a Chicago-based dentist and founder of the hashtag #ToothTuesday, Insider said. âFor reference: water, which is neutral, has a pH of seven and battery acid has a pH of one. Your teeth will start to decalcify or break down at a pH of four. Wonka is one. worst candy for your teeth. Fun Dip, Pixy Stix Powder and Now and Laters. The pH of these is all less than two! “
Even candy without sugar can be acidic enough to wear down the enamel.
Kahng says candies and gum made with xylitol, an alternative to sugar, often still contain citric acid, which can damage tooth enamel.
âAlthough these reduced to no sugar, it’s safe to say that excessive chewing of gum can lead to faster enamel wear,â Kahng said. âI have also found that most xylitol candies are formulated with citric acid, which technically makes the candies sugar-free but acidic. People assume they are free from home when choosing candy. sugar free, but an acidic pH can be just as bad when it comes to damaging enamel. “
Chocolate is a better Halloween candy option, according to Ali.
âIt can be consumed quickly, dissolves quickly and washes teeth easily after brushing,â Ali said.
Kahng recommends enjoying the stickiness of caramel in the form of a caramel apple.
âMy favorite Halloween treat is a little sweet and a little naughty: apples coated in caramel,â she said. “Although the caramel is sticky, the apples are crisp and help clean the surface of the teeth. I think Halloween should be enjoyed and I don’t mind indulging myself every now and then.”
Alim, Kahng and Ali all agree that it’s okay to indulge yourself once in a while.
To lessen the negative effects of sugary candy on your teeth, Alim recommends eating the candy in one sitting instead of snacking on it throughout the day and rinsing your mouth with water afterward.
âI am guilty of loving sweets,â Alim said. “As a dentist, this is something I often share with my patients. Because I let them know that you can enjoy candy responsibly while having healthy teeth.”
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