The Best and Worst Halloween Candy for Teeth

When trick-or-treating is done, it’s time to sort through the mountain of candy your kids collected. As you divide it up and each person takes their share, it might be helpful to know that some candy is better for your kids’ teeth than others!

The Best List

Let’s face it, there is no “Best” Halloween candy when it comes to maintaining a healthy smile. However, there are “better” kinds of treats that won’t do as much damage to your kids’ teeth.

•Sugar-Free Gum – This treat leaves no sticky residue to breed bacteria that form plaque. Increasingly, sugar-free gum is sweetened with xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that bacteria are unable to form into plaque. Many kinds of sugar-free gum neutralize the effects of sugar on teeth.

•Candy Containing Xylitol – Candy made with xylitol doesn’t have the refined sugar that bacteria love to turn into acids that are harmful to teeth. These kinds of candy can be found in natural food stores or online.

•Chocolate – Dark chocolate especially has been found to contain antioxidants, plus it’s just good. It won’t stick to teeth for long periods when frozen, so stick those Halloween treats in the freezer before eating.

•Powdery Candy – Examples of these kinds of candy include Sweet Tarts and Pixie Stix. Children can generally open them up and pour the sugar right down their throats, avoiding their teeth altogether.

The Worst List

There are many more kinds of candy on the Worst list as opposed to the Best list, and they tend to fit into one of the following categories.

•Filled Candy – these fillings include fruit, nuts, caramel, nougat and coconut. They’re can get caught in the grooves of kids’ teeth, “sticking” around long enough to do damage.

•Chewy Candy – if you favor candies like jelly beans or Tootsie Rolls, prepare for disappointment. The residue stays on and around teeth for hours. They also have a high acid content, which bacteria love.

•Hard Candy – Favorites of children because they last so long, these hard candies like lollipops and jawbreakers are terrible for teeth. When children eat hard candy, they’re basically soaking their teeth in a sugar bath.

•Sour Candy – this type of candy has a higher acidic content, which breaks down tooth enamel. Most of them last a long time as well, raising the mouth’s acidic level and damaging teeth.

The Best Defense

Candy is virtually unavoidable around Halloween. And while some candy is better or worse than others, nothing can help your child’s teeth more than good oral hygiene.

After the candy has been eaten, have your child brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Take a turn brushing your child’s teeth, getting into those hard-to-reach areas. Have your child floss in between teeth, and rinse well with water. These steps will ensure that your child’s teeth remain healthy, even with a little candy!

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom who takes care of her teeth by regularly visiting a dental professional like this Dentist in Oregon City.

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  1. Thanks for sharing this useful article. One more reason chocolate is the best!

  2. Hi, thanks much for this list. It is hard to forbid kids with their candies but I’m sure, everything will be ok since I know now how to separate good and bad candies.

  3. Centers and Squares says:

    Perhaps a toothbrush with that candy bar?! This is helpful info for moms and for all of us selecting our Halloween treats. Thanks!


  4. Very useful information here. I think it’s very important to be careful about the candy you allow your kids to eat. The only two root canals I have in my mouth…I got them because of stuff I was eating when I was a kid