Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what that means. Costumes, parties and lots and lots of candy. With so much candy surrounding you, it is often easy to let your dental care go during the Halloween season. It’s no secret that candy is a danger for tooth decay; however, certain candies lead to more haunting results and should be approached with caution. Keep reading to find out which candies to avoid this Halloween season!
The Worst Halloween Candy for your Teeth
Some Halloween candies have minor effects on your teeth, but these three categories of candies are likely to leave you looking like a toothless jack-o-lantern.
1. Sour Candy. Sour gummy worms. Lemon drops. Sour Patch Kids. Warheads. If it makes you pucker, it probably contains large amounts of acid. Acid is bad for your teeth because it wears down the tooth enamel, which protects your teeth. This makes it easier for teeth to become chipped or broken. Enamel also insulates the tooth. A lack of enamel can expose the nerves in your teeth, which are extremely sensitive to changes in temperature of the things you eat and drink.
2. Hard Candies. If you simply must have candy, chewy candies are a better option if you wish to avoid dental problems. Hard candies take much longer to dissolve in your mouth than chewy candies, meaning that you are essentially bathing your teeth in the sugar and acid for longer, making your teeth more vulnerable to cavities. Try to steer away from hard candies like suckers or jawbreakers this Halloween and opt for Starburst or Skittles instead.
3. Sticky Candies. Coming in the #1 spot for the worst candies for your teeth are sticky candies. Taffies, caramels, or candies filled with coconut, peanut butter or nuts fall into this category. These candies leave a sticky residue on your teeth and gums which acts as an adhesive for bacteria, ultimately resulting in decay. Many chocolate bars like Twix, Milky Way, Mounds or Snickers are guilty of this effect, so be sure to brush your teeth after indulging in these tasty treats.
Just because your neighbors are setting out decay-causing candies for trick-or-treaters doesn’t mean you have to. Be the healthy house on the block and offer healthier treats instead, such as sugar-free gum, individual packs of trail mix or sugar free hot chocolate packets. Who says you have to offer candy? Get creative with fun options like glow sticks, vampire teeth, stickers or Halloween-themed pencils. They may not taste good, but kids will enjoy the benefits of these fun objects much longer.
Make Your Own Candy
Another alternative to offering traditional Halloween candy is to make your own healthier version of popular candies. For example, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a favorite of many people; however, the peanut butter center is an extremely sticky substance and causes this treat to fall into the category of candies to avoid. But don’t let that idea scare you—we found an easy recipe for a healthy version of the popular sweet.
To make your own, you’ll need:
- 1 cup creamy roasted almond butter
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- 1 tablespoon golden flaxseed meal
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
1. Mix together the almond butter, agave nectar, vanilla, and sea salt to make a vanilla almond butter. Let chill for 24 hours.
2. Stir flaxseed meal into the vanilla almond butter.
3. Melt the chocolate in a small pan over low heat.
4. Scoop a tiny bit of the almond butter mixture into a ball, and dip into the chocolate.
5. Let harden.
For more healthy candy recipes, click here.