Halloween Survival Guide!

The bacteria in your mouth are probably more excited to eat Halloween candy than you are! When the bacteria eat the sugar and leftover food in your mouth, a weak acid is produced. That acid is what attacks the enamel of the teeth and can contribute to cavities.

Here are a few ideas to help you sort through the trick-or-treat bag loot and make sure kids keep their teeth healthy and braces intact!

Choose Candy Carefully!

Chocolate is probably your best bet, especially for kids with braces on!  This is good because it’s also the most popular kind of candy handed out on Halloween!  Chocolate can wash off your teeth easier than other types of candy. Dark chocolate is even better because it has less sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky candies cling to your teeth, which makes them some of the worst candies for your teeth!  Watch out for gummies, taffy and caramel because they take longer to get washed away by saliva – giving cavity-causing bacteria more time to work!

Hard candies can break your braces and your teeth if you’re not careful! They also tend to stay in your mouth for a long time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth gives acids more opportunity to attack your teeth!

Time It Right

It’s okay to splurge and eat some candy on Halloween! Just remember to try to eat it with meals or shortly after mealtime because this is when saliva production increases.  Saliva helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth, and it rinses away food particles.  Snacking on sweets at all times of day can increase your risk of cavities! Remember to brush and floss after eating sweets!

Have a Plan

It’s tempting to keep that candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash!  Have kids pick out their favorites and donate the rest. Look for organizations that help you donate candy to troops overseas, like Operation Gratitude, or see if your dentist has a candy take-back program.