How is Halloween candy bad for your teeth? Here’s what dentists have to say
The time-honored tradition of trick-or-treating on Halloween is less than a century old. In the 1930s, American children started ringing doorbells to ask for candy. In return, they were given all kinds of sweets: homemade cakes, fruits, and nuts etc.
By the 1970s, commercial candy became an inseparable part of Halloween. On average, candy worth $2 billion is brought in America every year on the occasion of Halloween.
Candy is delicious to eat but it is bad for your health and your teeth. Greek Philosopher Aristotle was the first one to point out the connection between sweet foods and dental decay. He made the observation that figs can cause tooth decay. Advanced medical science has confirmed his clever observation.
In reality, sugar is not the real culprit rather it is a trigger for dental decay to occur. Let us see how is Halloween candy bad for your teeth and how it is responsible for causing dental decay and cavities.
What Triggers the Development of Cavities?
- Our mouths are full of bacteria; some of which are friendly. They maintain and regulate the healthy functions of the mouth. Other bacteria are harmful. The harmful bacteria cause much damage to the tooth whenever they come in contact with sugars. They feed on sugars, digest it, and produce acids as a byproduct.
The acids are corrosive to teeth. They dissolve the tooth’s enamel which is the outermost shiny and protective layer that surrounds the tooth. Once the enamel is worn out, harmful bacteria start attacking the tooth structure. They cause bacterial infections that slowly start to dissolve the teeth structure leading to the formation of holes i.e. the cavities.
- If cavities are left untreated, they penetrate deep inside the teeth’s structure and can rot away the entire teeth. This leads to the loss of tooth accompanied by extreme pain. In some cases, it can cause gingivitis as well.
We have now understood how sugar and candy harm your teeth. With Halloween around the corner, you cannot exclude candy completely out of your life. However, you can practice good oral hygiene to keep the cavities at bay.
To avoid cavities, you can be smart about your selection of candy. Some sweets are more damaging than others. Let us take a look at which sweets are most damaging and should be avoided and which can be consumed in moderation.
Chewy and Gummy Sweets
- Is Halloween candy bad for your teeth? As a rule of thumb, the longer a candy stays in your mouth, the more harmful it is. In this regard, chewy and gummy candies are absolutely the worst as they tend to stick to crevices and gaps inside your mouth. The residue of chewy and gummy sweets are difficult to remove through brushing and flossing.
Cavity-causing bacteria attack the sugars and produce enamel-eroding acid. Hence, chewy and gummy sweets should be avoided as much as you can.
Hard candy such as a lollipop, jawbreakers or jolly ranchers, etc are bad for your teeth for the following two reasons:
- Most people consume lollipops by sucking on them for a few minutes. The sugar gets dissolved into your saliva which then coats your teeth and invites bacteria to invade.
- Hard candy like jawbreakers requires mechanical action to pulverize. Forceful biting can weaken the tooth.
Hence it is safer to steer clear of hard candy.
On the upside, you can have chocolate candy, dark chocolate, and sugar-free candy or gum. They are considered to be the healthiest types of candies. To learn more about how is Halloween candy bad for your teeth, you need to learn about preventive dentistry. Visit Celebrity Smiles and General Dentistry. They are located in Westmont, IL.