October is National Dental Hygiene Month, but it is also Halloween season as well. As a general rule, eating candy on a regular basis (especially for children wearing braces), but we realize it is asking a lot for children to completely forego Halloween. In order to minimize the amount of damage to teeth and braces, we have compiled a list of popular candies and let you know which candies will be better for teeth and which to avoid. Chewy, sticky candies are among the worst offenders for causing cavities. The chewy candy can also get stuck deep in your teeth and braces, and they cause significant damage to your teeth.
Some popular chewy candies to avoid include:
Hard candies can be better as long as you do not bite down or chew on them. Chewing on them can cause the hard sugars to get stuck in your teeth as well. Also, in many younger children with braces, the temptation to bite can be too great, so these should be avoided in that case. Hard candies can also cause stains to your teeth as well if you suck on them too often. As a general rule, candies that stain your tongue can also cause stains on your teeth.
Some popular hard candies that fall into this category:
Strawberry Hard Candies
Soft chocolate candies are the best option for treating your teeth right this Halloween. The more it melts in your mouth, the less likely it is to get stuck and cause more damage. Luckily, chocolate is one of the most popular Halloween candies, so you won’t be missing out on too much!
Some popular soft chocolates include:
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate
M&M’s can fall into this category if you let them melt in your mouth rather than bite into them right away. Remember, always use discretion when eating any candy this Halloween, and remember to indulge in moderation. You should always brush your teeth after eating your candy as well. Jeffrey A. Carson, DDS, FAGD wishes everyone a safe and have a happy Halloween!