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Halloween is a tradition infamously disliked by dentists, and it’s easy to see why. All that extra sugar and gooey candy is hard on young teeth, meaning more visits to the dentist. As much as we love to see our patients, we’d much rather see them with a set of smiling healthy teeth than a mouthful of cavities. However, despite all the perceived negativity, we do actually enjoy Halloween just as much as the next guy. With that in mind, here are some ideas and tips regarding more tooth-friendly candies that you may want to try switching to.
Let’s be careful here! Sugar free candy has long been marketed as an amazing alternative for regular candy that gets rid of all the detrimental effects of sugar. However, it’s important to remember that artificial sweeteners do have unknown problems of their own. Research into the field remains a hot topic today, and we still aren’t sure what the final verdict is on their impact on our health. Like anything else, they may be alright in small doses, but switching completely to sugar-free candy is not a great idea. Avoid the marketing this Halloween and remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it likely is.
A favourite for adults and children alike! Instead of getting the regular stock that are more sugar than cocoa, consider switching to dark chocolate. Cocoa by itself has plenty of known health benefits, and isn’t as bad as it’s often made out to be. Dark chocolate is low in sugar content and high in cocoa, in essence minimizing the harmful effects of excess sugar consumption while still providing that delicious chocolatey taste that we all crave. Admittedly, its bitterness can make it a hard sell to children. Lucky for them, dark chocolate is available in a wide range of percentages. 90% cocoa too bitter? Opt for a lower percentage variety. Experiment around and see which provides the best balance between a health snack and a tasty treat.
Caramel, fudge, and other sticky treats are especially hard on teeth, as they stick on tooth surfaces for long periods of time after being eaten. Sugar is of course most harmful when trapped on enamel, and encourages the growth of bacteria that will then begin to eat away at said enamel. Therefore, it is in your best interest to steer clear from these gooey traps. Instead, look for candies that provide a hard crunch, or require lots of chewing. This helps generate saliva to replenish lost minerals while also mobilizing teeth to prevent sugar from overstaying its welcome.
Centennial Smiles wishes everyone a fun and safe Halloween!