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Halloween is a holiday marked by costumes, haunted houses, jack-o-lanterns, tricks and treats. So many memories of this holiday are linked to these specific staples of Halloween. What would Halloween night be without seeing the creatively crafted jack-o-lanterns on your street? How would you feel if you return from your trick-or-treating and you find your pillowcase, which was used as your candy stasher, was filled with broccoli and bananas? It just wouldn’t be the same, would it? While getting candy is a common part of everyone’s Halloween experience, it’s important to use caution when considering the effects of all of that sugary candy on your teeth.

Your mouth contains naturally occurring bacteria, called streptococcus. This bacteria feeds on sugar, and once it does, it breaks it down into acids that eat away at tooth enamel. This causes tooth decay. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugars lingering in your mouth, the more damage is done. With this in mind, soft candies like caramels can be considered particularly bad because they stick to your teeth and hang around for a long time.

Lollipops and hard candies always seem to be a standard in the Halloween candy stash. While these seem harmless, if you eat too many, the constant exposure to sugar can be harmful to your teeth. Hard candies also put your teeth at risk because they can trigger a dental emergency such as a broken or chipped tooth.

Gummy candies are some of those most visually appealing candies on the market. The shapes, designs and colors are so creatively marketed toward children. Gummy candies are some of the worst to eat because they’re the most acidic. Acid is bad for your teeth because it wears down the tooth enamel. This makes it easier for teeth to become chipped or broken. Enamel also is important because it 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.

While you don’t need to stay indoors and avoid Halloween altogether this year, we’d encourage you to enjoy your candy in moderation. Continue brushing twice a day, and drink water after you consume your candy, so the sugars don’t get comfortable hanging out on your teeth until the next brushing. At Gordon Dental of Leawood, we wish you a safe, fun and sweet Halloween this year.

Posted on behalf of Gordon Dental of Leawood