The way you choose to indulge in Halloween candy may seem wise for your waistline, but it may not be doing your oral health any favors. When it comes to snacking on sweets, it’s the frequency – not necessarily the volume – that can truly compromise your oral health.

Find out how to dig in the smart way so you can still enjoy your favorite sweets (if your kids are willing to share) and keep that smile healthy and beautiful.

The Worst Halloween Candy for Your Teeth

Some types of Halloween candy are far worse for your teeth than others.

Can’t resist a jawbreaker? Hard candy like lollipops can be the biggest threats to your teeth. If you like to savor your sweets, know this: Keeping a hard candy in your mouth for an extended period of time means you’re exposing your teeth to sugars and bacteria that cause cavities. The other danger of hard candies? The folks who don’t savor but dig in with a mighty crunch are at risk for breaking fillings, teeth, or other dental work.

Must indulge in that sinfully delicious licorice? This seemingly innocuous candy – and its sisters taffy and caramel – is also the kind of sweet that sticks to every crevice, corner, and groove in your mouth. This candy can tear away dental work or settle on your teeth for far too long.

Have a Halloween Feast

Believe it or not, rationing your Halloween haul isn’t the best way to protect your teeth. You may convince yourself that sneaking a fun-size candy bar mid-morning, after lunch, before dinner, before bed, and so on, is better for your diet, but your teeth are suffering the consequences.

Slowly snacking on Halloween candy is one of the worst things you can do for your teeth – it’s like a prolonged sugar- and acid-laced bath for your teeth. And that can only lead to plaque build-up and cavities.

Inhale those sweets at one sitting – it’s so much better for your teeth to eat half a dozen candy bars at once than to nibble throughout the day. Your saliva will naturally neutralize the acids that build up in your mouth during that one snacking session, but it’s a challenge for your saliva to keep up with frequent candy-eating breaks. And, of course, be sure to brush and floss after you indulge.

Be Smart About Halloween Candy

Believe it or not, chocolate is one of the “better” candies to eat. Because it is more water-soluble than other types of sweets, your saliva is able to wash it away more quickly. But the best way to get your sweets fix and be kind to your teeth is to stick with sweets flavored with xylitol, the ingredient found in sugar-free gum that helps prevent cavities.

Need to schedule a cleaning or get a suspected cavity checked out? Concerned that your dental work has been compromised by candy eating? Contact Sherman Oaks Dentistry to learn about our new patient special and consult with Dr. Harold Perlaza about your smile makeover.