Candy: A Treat…or an Unhealthy Trick?

It’s the end of Halloween. The last of the trick-or-treaters have gone home and the porch lights are off. You walk over to that bowl full of candy on the counter, grab a couple of your favorite candies, and enjoy a late night snack. Then, tired from the long day, you head to bed – without brushing your teeth.

Whether you are eating leftover candy or digging into the kids’ stashes, it may seem harmless to grab a piece of candy here and there. However, before you pick up those Halloween treats on Friday and the days afterwards, you may want to consider these facts about the effects of sugar on teeth.

Kids with candy
Katie, Ashley, and Alex sort through their candy after a fun night of trunk-or-treating! Remember, it’s okay to eat candy and other sugary treats in moderation. Just make sure that you brush afterwards!

What Does Sugar Really Do to the Mouth?

  • When you eat foods cotaining sugar, the bacteria in your mouth begin to make acid. This acid can wear down the enamel that protects your teeth and cause cavities.
  • According to PRNewswire, when plaque is supplied with sugar, the acid that is made can “[attack] the teeth for about 20 minutes.”

Tips to Protect Your Teeth:

  • Instead of grabbing a piece of candy everytime you pass that bowl, choose one time of day to snack on sweet treats. Minimizing the amount that times per day that your teeth is exposed to acid-causing sugar means potentially less damage.
  • Brush your teeth after eating candy.
  • If you can’t brush your teeth right away, try to drink water after indulging in a sugary snack.
  • Instead of eating candy every day, make an effort to eat it in moderation. Some healthy substitutes that are better for your teeth include apples and carrots.

Be mindful of your oral health, but also enjoy the holiday.

Happy Halloween and take care of your smile!

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