Which Halloween treats are the worst for your teeth? Dentists weigh in

Whether you have trick-or-treaters at home or not, chances are the Halloween season means an uptick in your family’s candy consumption.

But by being choosy with your treats, you can minimize the chance of damaging your teeth.

“The kind of worst thing for your teeth is the chewy candies, things like caramels, gummy bears, licorice,” said Dr. Jaclyn Scurk, a Windsor dentist.

“These are going to stick into the little crevices of your teeth and cause decay a lot easier. Then even a little bit worse is the sour candies because they have more of that acid that can erode the enamel.”

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Scurk said it’s best to eat any treats with a meal, rather than grazing on them over a long period of time.

Windsor dentist Dr. Nadia Al-Aasm said the most important thing to consider when it comes to Halloween candy is how often you consume it.

“If you eat all of your candy in one sitting, you’re exposing your teeth to that frequency one time. But if you’re sitting there and you’re eating it every 20, 30 minutes for the next few days, over the next week, it’s causing more damage to your teeth.”

Dental association releases Halloween friends and foes list

The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) released its list of Halloween treats people should avoid if they don’t want to be haunted by rotten teeth.

Plain chocolate is on its Halloween “friends” list because it dissolves quickly. Also on the list: nuts, cheese and sugar-free gum.

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There’s also a benefit to eating cheese before candy, said Windsor dentist Dr. David Hoang.

“Eating cheese provides a vitamin-rich substrate along the teeth that can help the teeth be protected from decay while they eat candy,” he said.

On the other hand, the list called out caramels, licorice and even chips as foes because they get stuck in teeth, potentially contributing to tooth decay.

Hard candy, lollipops and jaw breakers are also on the foes list.

The ODA said they “soak your teeth in sugar while they dissolve” and also could cause chipped teeth and dislodged braces.

Swishing your mouth with water can help get the sugar off the teeth right away. The dentists say it’s best to wait half an hour before brushing after eating candy.

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