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Eat Halloween Candy Without Getting Cavities

URBANDALE, Iowa  --  Lots of candy is going to be in our homes in the next couple of days, if it isn’t already! Everyone knows candy isn’t very good for your body or for your teeth.

Dr. Francis Nahm at Urbandale Smiles said cavities form when the natural bacteria in your mouth feeds on the left-over candy stuck in your teeth. The longer the candy is stuck, the more likely the cavity causing bacteria will grow. Dr. Nahm said to remember to brush twice a day but at least before you go to bed because then you are not letting the sugar sit on your teeth for eight or more hours.

Dr. Nahm said proper brushing doesn’t depend on the type of tooth brush you have, electric or manual, it depends on the time you brush. Brush gently for two minutes to get left-over candy off your teeth, but to get the food out in between the teeth you have to make sure to floss. The number one place to get a cavity is in between your teeth.

“If the cavity is caused from the groove perspective, from the biting surface it usually does not involve multiple teeth, it usually involves one tooth but if the cavity starts from in between the teeth then it often affects two teeth, so it could be one cavity site but now it’s affecting two teeth at the same time,” Dr. Nahm said.

When it comes to candy, some are worse for your teeth than others.

Candy that is sticky like Skittles, taffy and caramel are more likely to stick on and in-between your teeth. But the worst candy is anything sour because they contain more acid than other candies. Dr. Nahm said acidization happens as the bacteria feed off the sugar stuck to your teeth. So, if you are adding more acid, cavities will develop more quickly.

“When you have high acid or sour or citric candy products, then I personally recommend rinsing your mouth rinse to dilute the acidity in your mouth as much as possible on top of performing proper oral hygiene techniques,” Dr. Nahm said.

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