Best (and Worst) Candy Choices for Your Teeth

Close up photo of gummy candy.
We have lots of choices when it comes to candy. Which will you pick?

When celebrating Halloween or any other holiday, we like to indulge in candy and other sweets. It’s nice to have a treat, but we also have to keep our health in mind. And that includes our healthy smiles! So we wanted to share some of the best and worst choices that you can make when eating candy.

All types of candy aren’t the same. Depending on the ingredients and consistency, candy could make your teeth more vulnerable to cavities.

  • It’s best to eat candy after a meal because there’s more saliva in the mouth. Saliva helps balance the acidity produced by cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Avoid snacking on sweets and candy. It’s better for your teeth to eat sugary foods at one time rather than constantly throughout the day.
  • Drink water with your candy treats. Water helps clean out the bacteria in the mouth. Fluoridated water will work even better to protect the enamel on teeth.
  • Clean your mouth by brushing and flossing, but don’t brush immediately after eating candy. It’s better to rinse with water and brush after about 30 minutes.

Some candy may be more or less damaging to your teeth. Here’s our advice on which ones to be careful with. Don’t forget to protect your teeth this holiday season!

Of all the sweet treats, chocolate is probably the least harmful. Dark chocolates and chocolates with nuts are best. Be careful of chocolate with added caramel or other sticky fillings.

Sticky candies are among the most harmful. The stickiness clings to your teeth like glue and increases the risk of tooth decay. Sticky candies include things like gummy bears, candy corn, and caramel.

Hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers can be harmful in two ways. First, the length of time that hard candies stay in the mouth is more than most. Second, chewing hard candy can cause teeth to break and wear down. Biting down on a large, hard candy can also be damaging to the jaw so be careful!

Sour candies are highly acidic. Acid breaks down tooth enamel, weakening teeth and increasing the danger of cavities. Candies that are both sticky/hard and sour are among the worst.

Sugar-free gum helps increase saliva, which can wash away sticky food and combat acidity. It’s one of the less harmful treats for your teeth.

Moderation is key when eating sweets. You don’t have to completely avoid sugar, but you can be smarter about how you eat it. It’s important to maintain proper brushing habits, have a professional checkup with the dentist at least twice a year, and consider protections like sealants and fluoride.

Have a safe and healthy holiday!