What are the worst and not-so-spooky candies for your teeth? This might be surprising coming from an oral care company that literally obsesses over the best angle to hold your brush bristles, but you shouldn’t ignore your sweet tooth’s desires this Halloween. Before you choose which trick-or-treat to bite into or giant bag of discounted candy to buy, though, you should know which candies to run from like you’re in a horror movie and the sweets that aren’t so spooky for your teeth according to quip dentist, Dr. Hariawala.
This one should be obvious but we’re going to say it one more time for the people in the back (and your back teeth). Caramel isn’t only super sugary, it’s also super sticky — staying on your teeth to constantly feed the Freddy Krueger bacteria.
Don’t be fooled by gummies in the shape of vampire fangs. Gummies are super crummy for your teeth because they’re ultra-sticky, too. If gummies are the most discounted candy in the day-after-Halloween aisle, be sure to take very good care of your teeth afterwards… or go for the slightly less discounted non-sticky treat.
Basically anything sticky
According to your enamel, sticky = icky. The sugary treat that sticks to your teeth is quite the treat for bacteria, who turn the sugar into acid that breaks down your enamel. Avoid stickiness to ensure your teeth don’t become all hollow on All Hallow’s Eve.
Acid is the reason why sugar can be bad for your teeth, and sour candies tend to be more acidic (that’s what makes you pucker and scrunch your face).
When you leave a sour taste in your mouth, that acid breaks down your enamel which can lead to yellow teeth and cavities.
Rinsing your mouth with water is actually a good trick-for-this-type-of-treat, because it neutralizes the new acid in your mouth. This means you should definitely avoid anything sour and sticky.
Lollipops / Hard candy
Any type of lolli subjects the cave in your head (your mouth) to a continued stream of sugar, which makes it easier to break down your enamel over time. If you can’t resist a lollipop… lick quick.
The Not As Bad (But still bad!)
NOT SO BAD
Not only does chocolate have less sugar than other chocolates, but according Dr. Burhenne, there’s a compound in cocoa that some studies suggest can actually fight off tooth decay and plaque. The compound, called CBH, helps harden your enamel — which is the hard, outer-layer of your teeth that does all of the protecting from cavities.
NOT SO BAD
Avoid the mansion on the hill that hands out king-sized candy bars every Halloween. Fun-size candy bars are fun for your teeth, because they make sure you’re not constantly applying sugar to your teeth by eating candy over a long period of time while still settling your craving for candy right after lunch.
NOT SO BAD
Anything that easily melts away
Candy that melts like a witch taking a shower is ideal for your teeth, because it doesn’t stick to the tiny crevices in between your teeth and your gums. Cotton candy is the one exception as melting will just spread sugar around your entire mouth. Any chocolates are better because they can easily be rinsed away like a spell with a witchy-swish of water.
At the end of Halloween day (or the day after Halloween when you eat all the leftover candy in your office), no candy at all is the “best” for teeth. But, if you do need to satisfy your sweet tooth, it’s most important to take good care of your teeth afterwards. As always, wait at least 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth, brush thoroughly for two minutes ,and clean your whole mouth evenly. Bonus points if your costume is a sexy toothbrush (quip, obviously).