The leaves are falling, the air is crisp and cool, and Halloween is just around the corner. Don’t forget to get that apple cider brewing! For most, Halloween means costume parties, trick-or-treating (if you have kids), and, of course, sugar all around. Pumpkin spice lattes from your favorite coffee shop. A caramel apple sprinkled with peanuts. Also, pumpkin beer from your favorite brewery. While it’s hard to escape the sugar this season, it’s important to remember that not all candy is created equal. An increase in sugar consumption can make it easier for cavities to form, but some fall treats are more devilish (and damaging) than others.
If you’re hoping to indulge this season, but not permanently damage your teeth, try to avoid our Halloween Candy Scare list.
Whether your favorite candy is gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy spiders, or gummy anything, these candies are some of the worst for your teeth. The reason for this is the candies’ stickiness. Gummies are just difficult to get out of your teeth, and the longer they stay in your mouth, the more food they provide to certain mouth bacteria known to be responsible for cavities and gum disease.
We’ve talked a lot about mouth bacteria — check out this blog for more details — but here’s the basic rundown. Inside your mouth at any given time are billions of bacteria which help fight infection, pre-digest food, and a whole slew of other things. Included in these bacteria, however, are certain strains that have been known to attach to teeth and dissolve enamel with an acidic by-product. While these bacteria are fine in small numbers, when given the right kind of food, which just so happens to be sugar and simple carbs, they can quickly overpopulate the mouth and cause incredible damage.
For much the same reason that gummy candies are dangerous, hard candy should be avoided. The longer candy sits in the mouth, the more opportunity mouth bacteria has of feeding off it and multiplying. Just like Gizmo and the other Gremlins, when fed too late, mouth bacteria can quickly overrun your mouth’s microbiome. Eat at your own risk!
Some people love them, and some love to hate them, but no matter what camp you fall into, you can bet they’ll be around this Halloween. If they are, you should probably avoid them. Again, sour candies are generally coated in sugar, which can cause cavities. Also, the acidity in sour candies can work a number on your enamel. Much like sucking on a lemon, any candy that makes you pucker could be doing a number on your enamel.
If you’re hoping to avoid cavities this Halloween, the best defense you could have is maintaining a strict oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing twice a day can eliminate bacterial food sources as well as protecting your mouth with fluoride. And if it’s been awhile since your last cleaning, remember that the American Dental Association recommends visiting the dentist once every six months.
Do you have gum disease or are you looking for a check up in Wichita Falls, TX? Please call 940-322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment at StarImage Dentistry, where we use the most advanced techniques to achieve great results for our patients.