Many, many people consider fall to be their favorite time of the year; the leaves start falling, the weather cools down, pumpkin spice everything is released…and there’s LOTS of food and treats to be eaten. Let’s be serious, dental babes, we love our food and sweet treats just as much as the next person!
However, there is quite the difference between enjoying a slice of pumpkin pie and gathering 3 months worth of candy to treat yourself to through the new year!
That’s the thing about Halloween Candy, it lingers around the house! Just like it lingers around in…you guessed it…your teeth! There are, however, a few candies that are pretty much guilt-free, in both your diet regimen and your oral health regimen! Let’s dive into the most popular Halloween Candies, which ones are best in moderation only, as well as the ones that you can indulge in daily, without the guilt!
Remember back when you had braces (or maybe you still do, rock ‘em babe!) and there were all sorts of no-no’s when it came to candies and treats? The rules still kind of remain the same, even without braces! The worst candies for your teeth are the sticky, ooey gooey ones, like:
Popcorn balls (am I the only one who got like 30 of these every year!?)
Gummy Bears (BUT we found an alternative to, keep reading!)
Snickers (and really any chocolate bar with caramel in it)
Why these sticky items are off-limits for orthodontic patients may seem obvious…because they’re, well, sticky! They could stick to expensive dental appliances in your mouth. But even worse, they could get caught behind brackets or even bend one of your wires! Could you imagine a chunk of sugary caramel being stuck behind one of your brackets for God-knows-how-long?….DECAY. CITY.
Well, dental babes, the same can go for all of the nooks, crannies and crevices on any of your teeth, especially your molars. While you may think a 2-minute brush and floss could take care of it, that’s not always the case. These sticky little suckers could remain in there for longer than you’d think, causing a risk of it festering into decay or cavities.
Any sticky candies mentioned above are best in moderation – HOWEVER - if you’re going to indulge in a few taffys or caramel-filled candies throughout the day, it’s actually best to have them all at once, rather than some here and some there. This allows the sugary substance to start making it’s way out, rather than continuing to add onto it every few hours.
Some other Halloween offenders are the super sour, sugary kind like:
War Heads (admittedly, one of my faves, OOPS.)
Sour Punch Straws
Sour Patch Kids Products
See, the issue with these guys is not AS much the sugar, as it is the sour. The sour flavor is typically made up of a lemony, acidic flavor that just wreaks havoc on the teeth. While you should always definitely brush after digging into the candy bowl, you should even moreso after sucking on some soury-goodness.
Super, duper passionate about oral health and save the sweet treats for a rare occasion? Or maybe sugar just upsets your stomach, you just flat out don’t love sugary candy, or you’re looking for smarter options…we got you, dental babe!
Chocolate: Plain old chocolate (especially dark!) is one of your safest bets for oral health, as its sugars wash off your teeth much more easily than say a sour, acidic candy. As mentioned, dark chocolate is the real winner here. It has less sugar than milk chocolate and even some antioxidants in it too!
Dr. John’s Candies: We know, we know, we talk about them all the time – but they really are just too good to be true! Their candies are totally sugar free and are sweetened with Xylitol. Some even contain probiotics and nutrients your body needs! They have everything from lollipops, to chocolates to caramels and taffy too! All of which won’t cause nearly as much harm if they sneak into the cusps of your teeth to hang out!
Smart Sweets Candies: Tara Bosch, owner and founder of SMART SWEETS CANDIES, is a young entrepreneur, just like DHN’s owner! If that wasn’t reason enough to love her, she has also created absolutely delicious candies, like gummy bears, sour blast buddies and even sweet fish that have only 3g of sugar per serving! That is 21g LESS of sugar than the leading gummy treats! These are candies that won’t negatively affect your oral health or diet regimen and contain no added sugars, sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners.
Dental babes, you should never feel guilty about having the sweet snack or indulging in a sweet treat, just be sure to keep this blog in the back of your mind this holiday season and remember, ALWAYS brush your teeth after indulging. You deserve the candy, but your teeth deserve the brush!