Halloween Safety for Teeth: Candy and Dental Emergencies

from Coyne Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center

Halloween is every sugar fiend’s favorite night of the year. Yes, it’s okay to indulge occasionally. But how can you keep your teeth and gums healthy? There’s nothing to be frightened of…Coyne Oral Surgery has the scoop when it comes to smart decisions for enjoying treats, as well as what to do if the candy gives more trick than treat.

Worst Candies for Teeth

Regardless of what you eat, please brush immediately afterwards. You’ll significantly reduce potential cavity damage. In no particular order, these are some of the worst candies, which you may want to avoid or minimize.

  • Sour Candy. Sour treats are extremely high in acid, which can weaken your tooth’s enamel, making the tooth more vulnerable to damage. They’re also usually high in sugar, which causes cavities. These two factors together make sour candies a double whammy!
  • Chewy / Sticky / Tacky Candy. Chewy candy such as gummies tends to stay on teeth longer than chocolate counterparts. Even after you swallow, the residue sits in, between and around your teeth, eroding the enamel and causing cavities. Sticky or tacky candies like “Now & Laters” or “Starbursts” can pull on fillings or crowns. Many people have lost dental repairs to candy.
  • Hard Candy. Peppermints and lollipops, along with other hard candies, are another double threat. Because they take so long to eat, the sugar is in contact with your teeth for a longer time. The other risk is biting and crunching on hard candies, which could break or crack a tooth. Ouch!

Better Candy Choices for Teeth

These are not, we repeat not, being promoted as healthy choices. But since you’re going to either raid the candy from trick-or-treating, or you’re going to raid the candy you didn’t hand out to trick-or-treaters…at least choose some pieces that are less hazardous to your teeth!

  • Chocolate. With regard to oral health, chocolate is a better choice for your teeth. Chocolate tends to rinse away more easily than other types of candy. And if you have an option, choose dark chocolate. It’s usually lower in sugar than its milk chocolate counterpart.
  • Caramel apple. Yes, it’s caramel. But usually, the caramel on the apples is softer than sticky, individually wrapped pieces. Additionally, the crisp apple helps clean the surface of teeth. Cut into slices if you’re concerned about biting into a caramel apple.

Candy Tooth Emergencies

If your favorite candy plays a trick and you find yourself with a dislodged crown or filling or a cracked tooth, reach out to your dentist or contact Coyne Oral Surgery at 615-771-0017. Your tooth needs attention, especially if you’re in pain. The tooth can likely be filled, capped, crowned or otherwise repaired. But if you put it off too long, you could end up in more pain, with an infection or with a small issue turning into a much bigger problem. Keep your teeth safe and healthy this Halloween.

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