As October is upon us, the grocery store aisles are filling with candy. We thought we’d help encourage you to a more tooth friendly Halloween this year. We are starting this series of blog posts with a list of the worst candies for your teeth.
Sticky candies, such as caramel and taffy, pose a double threat to your teeth. These types of candies can pull out a filling, onlay, inlay or crown. Additionally, these candies stick to your teeth, especially in the grooves and pits. This means that the bacteria in your mouth can feed on the sugar that is stuck in your teeth for longer periods of time and can produce more acid. Both weaken your teeth and may cause cavities.
Candies that are filled with or contain nuts also have hazards, especially if you enjoy these candies better when frozen. When eating nutty candies, you have to watch out for the cracking of a tooth or a filling. These candies will commonly get stuck in the grooves and pits of your teeth as well.
Hard candies bring about similar problems, as chewing them may crack a tooth. On the other hand, if you suck on them instead, you are increasing the length of time that the candy is in your mouth. This gives the bacteria in your mouth more time to feed on the sugars in the candy and lower the pH of your mouth to create an acidic atmosphere. The longer the pH of your mouth stays lowered, the more damage that is done to your teeth.
Sour candy creates different conditions in your mouth that can harm your teeth. On average, sour candies are more acidic than other candy. The acidity of the candy combined with the sugar content, creates a very acidic environment in your mouth. Your saliva will naturally return the pH in your mouth to neutral, but sour candy may make it take longer than the standard 30 minutes, leaving your teeth more exposed to acid erosion.
As all candy increases the acidity of your mouth, it is best to wait for at least a half hour after eating before brushing your teeth. Brushing will help remove any excess food or candy that is stuck in your teeth. An acidic environment weakens your tooth structure and brushing before your saliva has restored the pH balance will cause enamel erosion.
The best way you can enjoy your Halloween treats is to be aware of the potential risks and harm that come with them. Our Evanston dentists encourage you to enjoy Halloween, but make sure you keep your teeth in mind when it comes to snack time. Make sure to visit our blog again next week and find out what are some of the more tooth friendly treats that you can enjoy this Halloween season.