Not sure of the best candy for kids’ teeth at Halloween and which treats to avoid? This article shares a guide to tooth-friendly snacks, and offers the quickest way to protect kids’ smiles no matter which sweets they select.
Each year, Halloween tempts even the healthiest eaters with the promise of candy and decadent treats. Some choices are better than others, but no matter what, the best option is to follow up with healthy hygiene. Before Halloween arrives, find a few ways to make oral health more fun HERE.
Is there a best candy for kids’ teeth at Halloween?
According to the American Dental Association’s Mouth Healthy advisors, the bacteria in all of our mouths are “probably more excited to eat Halloween candy” than us. In short:
“When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what can contribute to cavities.”MouthHealthy.org
Sounds simple enough. But in an era of choices like pumpkin spice gummy bears, caramel apple candy pops and sour candy corn, temptation might be difficult to resist. When that sweet tooth kicks in, it’s helpful to know which snacks are better for keeping those smiles intact.
- Give candy a run for its money.
It might sound unrealistic, but it’s entirely possible to make fruit fun. With the help of creative food bloggers and Pinterest boards, even a novice can turn banana bites into friendly ghosts (shown), mandarin oranges into pumpkins and a mix of apples, peanut butter, sunflower seeds and strawberries into monster mouths. Costume-wearing kiwi? You’ve got to see it to believe it: HERE.
- Choose chocolate.
When chocolate is a recommended treat, why read any further? Possibly the most popular offering from Halloween treat givers, chocolate is also the quickest to wash away from your teeth. Bonus: dark chocolate = lower sugar content.
- If allergies are not an issue, go nuts.
You probably know legumes and tree nuts provide healthy snack options with fiber and protein. Their crunch can also stop plaque from sticking around. More on that HERE.
- Stimulate saliva with sugar-free candy.
Don’t, repeat, don’t overdo it, though, because chemical sugar substitutes have their own downsides.
Ready to find out which treats to avoid?
- Gummies are just no good.
Sticky treats are generally some of the worst offenders when it comes to oral health.
“This candy is harder to remove and may stay longer on your teeth, which gives that cavity-causing bacteria more time to work.”ADA dentist Dr. Ana Paula Ferraz-Dougherty, in an interview with MouthHealthy.org
2. Hard candy can play hardball with your smile.
Sorry to break the news. *groan* And for that pun. Aside from possibly breaking your teeth, these long-lasting sweets also keep the sugar flowing in saliva and swirling around that beautiful grin you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
3. Popcorn balls.
We’re not sure about the popularity of popcorn balls these days. Don’t be taken in by nostalgia, though, when these old-fashioned orbs bring the trifecta of terror: sticky, sugary and soooo annoying (kernels lodged in between teeth).
4. Sour candy.
If a selfie pucker is the goal, there are better ways to achieve it than putting your smile at risk. Acidic properties of sour sweets aren’t doing you any favors. They can weaken a tooth’s hard outer shell and give cavity-causing bacteria a free-for-all vibe.
Don’t let Halloween treats terrify you.
Know the good, bad and best treats for teeth. Then decide if a few moments of sweetness are worth the cavity-risks. If a child in your care (or your inner child) can’t resist an oversized bag of gummy bears or a caramel apple, don’t forget to follow up with the best remedies: brushing, flossing and healthy habits.
Find lots of kid-friendly options HERE.