Look, we know sugar — especially the refined sugar in candy — isn’t good for us. And sure, we try to avoid it whenever possible… but what about Halloween? Is it really that bad to let kids indulge like this once a year?
To answer this question, we turned to the professionals who deal with much of the Halloween candy aftermath: dentists. Do they think we should skip the candy altogether?
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Hardly. According to a 2017 survey by the American Dental Association, more than 76 percent of dentists give out some type of candy for the spooky holiday.
“Nobody wants to deny their child candy, because of course it’s delicious,” Dr. Craig S. Armstrong, a dentist in Houston, Texas, tells SheKnows. “Additionally, it is ingrained as a childhood experience in our culture. Of course, dentists are not winning any popularity contests telling people to give up sweets. However, like almost every other aspect of our health, I’d recommend balance.”
But what does eating candy do to your teeth? According to Armstrong, decay is the process of bacteria living on the teeth, metabolizing these sugars easily and producing a level of acid that can break down the tooth structure. However, for this to occur, the offending bacteria and the food source would have to stay on the tooth surface for a long amount of time — hence, the importance of brushing and flossing as soon as possible.
“We often say the formula for decay is tooth plus bacteria plus food plus time,” he explains.