Dentists Name Horrible Halloween Candies For Teeth

Decorative pumpkins filled with Halloween candy

Photo: iStock Editorial

Dressing up for Halloween is fun, but we all know the real star of the holiday is candy. Everyone has their own favorites, the ones they swipe from their kids’ haul when they’re asleep, but it turns out, some sweets are worse for your teeth than others. Dentists reveal the candies that are worst for your smile and what to eat instead.

  • Gummy candies - Dr. Hajera Ali, a dentist in New Jersey, admits he has a sweet tooth and that his personal favorite, gummies, happen to be one of the worst for teeth. He explains that they stick to teeth and have to be chewed more than other candies, so the sugar is in contact with teeth longer. Gummies can also stick to hard-to-clean areas, like between teeth.
  • Caramels - These also take a long time to dissolve, making caramels another worse for your teeth candy.
  • Sticky candies, like Starburst - “These act like little sugar bombs that hang out in the hard to reach crevices of your teeth until they finally dissolve,” explains cosmetic dentist Dr. Joyce Kahng. Plus, they can also be tough on crowns and fillings by sticking to them and pulling at them.
  • Lollipops - While they’re not sticky, they do take a while to finish, which means more time for the sugar to be in contact with teeth, which lands them on the naughty list.
  • Sour candies - The problem with these treats is that they’re extremely acidic. “It's all about balance. Literally. Keeping the pH in your mouth close to neutral (seven) is the name of the game," explains dentist Dr. Aaleeyah Alim. "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. Some of the worst candy for your teeth is Wonka Fun Dip, Pixy Stix powder, and Now and Laters. The pH of those are all below two!"
  • Chocolate - Thankfully, dentists say this is a better Halloween candy option because it can be eaten quickly and washes away from teeth easily after brushing.
  • Caramel apples - Kahng says this is her favorite Halloween treat because even though the caramel is sticky, the crisp apples help clean the surfaces of the teeth.

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