Delta Dental Names Best and Worst Halloween Treats for Teeth
Chocolate and powdery candies are better for teeth than chewy or hard candies.
OAK BROOK, Ill. (October 31, 2013) - Little ghosts and goblins will trick-or-treat to collect as much candy as they can this Halloween, but it's not just kids who will enjoy the treats. Nearly 80 percent of parents admit they eat their children's Halloween candy, according to the Delta Dental Children's Oral Health Survey.1 But some candies have the potential to do more damage to teeth than others.
"Choose candy that melts and disappears quickly," said Dr. Bill Kohn, DDS, vice president of dental science and policy for Delta Dental Plans Association. "The longer teeth are exposed to sugar, the longer bacteria can feed on it, which could produce cavity-causing acid."
Dr. Kohn says the best way to protect teeth from decay is to have candy in small portions at limited times, such as after a meal, as dessert or at regular snack times. Nearly 90 percent of parents say their kids consume Halloween candy this way.1j
"It's best to avoid letting kids snack on candy throughout the day," said Dr. Kohn, "and it's extremely important kids brush their teeth or at least rinse with water after eating sweets. Remember that high sugar diets are detrimental to oral and overall health."
While no sweets are good for teeth, some are less harmful than others. Delta Dental rates the best and worst treats for teeth on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being least harmful.
"Another way to protect teeth is to give kids something other than candy," Dr. Kohn said. Nearly 25 percent of parents hand out non-candy items to trick-or-treaters, such as toys, money or fruit.1
For additional tips on how to help keep children's teeth healthy during Halloween and all year long, visit the Tooth Fairy's Halloween website at www.toothfairytrickytreats.com.
1Morpace Inc. conducted the 2013 Delta Dental Children's Oral Health Survey. Interviews were conducted nationally via the Internet with 926 primary caregivers of children from birth to age 11. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of error is +-3.2 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.