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Timing Your Treats Are the Trick

Posted in:DadsHealthy SmilesMoms


Halloween candy teeth in a bowl

The real ghouls on Halloween are the ones who tell you don’t eat candy, don’t drink soda, eliminate sugar from your diet and pass out fruit, or sugarless candy during Halloween. Let’s be real! Halloween will always be the sweetest day of the year. Only one time a year can children can fill buckets with chocolate and sweets and adults may also enjoy raiding their stash.

Halloween is only one night but the treats normally last longer. It is easy to lose sight of how much candy and over how much time it is being eaten. Every time we eat or drink anything sugary, our teeth come under an acid attack for up to one hour and that acid damages your teeth. Saliva neutralizes the acid in the mouth, but it takes an hour for the acidity levels in your mouth to be neutralized after eating. Sweets that last longer or eating sweets every few hours does not give your teeth enough time to recover. That’s why timing is the trick to help keep your teeth, mouth, and body healthy.

Timing is everything. Best time for treats:

  • The best time to raid the candy is after a meal, because the saliva that is produced while eating will help wash away bacteria and damaging sugars.
  • Do not eat sweets one hour or less before bedtime, as you could risk brushing off enamel from your teeth which has been weakened by an acid attack.
  • Avoid drinking sodas, juices, sports drinks and eating candy at different times throughout the day to reduce the amount of time that teeth are exposed to the acid produced from sugar.
  • Can’t brush teeth after eating sweets? Try drinking water, wiping teeth with a tooth tissue, or chewing sugarless gum to help clean teeth and reduce the buildup of bacteria until you have time to brush your teeth.

How much time does it take? Best to worst candy options:

  • The time it takes for candy to dissolve is important. Chocolates or candy that melts in your mouth quickly causes the least damage to our teeth.
  • Lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers, and hard candies that take a long time to break down damage enamel and can chip teeth or break dental work.
  • Sticky treats like raisins, fruit roll-ups, caramels, or Starbursts candies get lodged in the teeth and are most likely to cause cavities.
  • Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste before you go to bed. Brushing last thing at night is important as the mouth produces less saliva overnight.

Follow the tricks above when eating your treats to have Spooktacular oral health!

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.