Dentists have shared the worst kinds of candies for our teeth. This information comes at a critical time when kids and adults alike will be enjoying trick-or-treat sweets. Many people don’t give much thought to these addictive and sugary candies but it’s important to understand that some are better than others. For example, sticky candies like caramels and gummies can get stuck in the areas of your teeth that are hard to reach. Sour candies are harsh on tooth enamel because of their acidity. Gummy candies take a long time to chew and can also get stuck in our teeth. One might think sugar-free candies are the route to go, but even those can wear down teeth enamel. With so many different kinds of candies, it can be difficult to sort through them to determine which are safe for our teeth. Luckily, doctors have recommended which candies are safe for eating and which to avoid during this holiday season. We all have a sweet tooth, but we don’t have to risk the health of our teeth for it.
In a statement to Insider, Dr. Hajera Ali, a general dentist at Smile! Dental Boutique explained, “Gummy candy is probably one of the worst (but unfortunately my personal favorite). It sticks to your teeth and has to be chewed much more than other candy. The sugar is in contact with your teeth for a longer period of time, and sometimes it sticks in hard-to-clean areas like between your teeth.” Dr. Joyce Kahng, a cosmetic dentist and assistant professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC also provide her expertise and said, “The worst Halloween candies are generally those that ‘stick with you’ for a long time and take a while to dissolve, particularly caramels and gummy-like candies.”
This begs the question, which Halloween candies can we enjoy without sacrificing taste? Dr. Joyce Kahng says the better option is chocolate because it can be eaten fast and dissolves much quicker in the mouth than other candies, and it also comes off the teeth much easier after brushing. But the main thing to keep in mind is to maintain balance. Dr. Aaleeyah Alim, a dentist and the founder of the hashtag #ToothTuesday explained to Insider that “It’s all about balance. Literally. Keeping the pH in your mouth close to neutral (seven) is the name of the game. For reference: water, which is neutral, has a pH of seven and battery acid has a pH of one. Your teeth start to decalcify, or break down, at a pH of four.” Don’t be too strict on yourself. There is no harm in indulging every once in a while, but we can reduce the negative effects of these sugary treats by keeping these mentioned tips in mind.