How do dentists confront the professional quandary that is Halloween? Delta Dental was curious and found that approaches vary depending on the dentist.
Delta Dental recently surveyed more than 250 dentists and found that nearly one out of four dentists said they do not hand out anything on Halloween, while five percent attack the holiday head on by handing out toothbrushes. But the majority, 60 percent, hand out candy.
Of the dentists who hand out candy:
- 79 percent choose chocolate
- 13 percent hand out varieties like hard candy or lollipops
And there’s a good reason for this confectionery choice.
When it comes to teeth and sugar, it’s really a matter of time. Chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and can be eaten easily, which decreases the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth. Tooth decay occurs when candy and other sweets mix with bacteria in the sticky plaque that constantly forms on teeth to produce acid, which can wear away enamel.
Chewy, sticky treats are particularly damaging because not only are they high in sugar, but they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth and are more difficult for saliva to break down. Hard candies are tough on teeth as well because kids tend to suck on them at a leisurely pace for an extended period of time.
So this Halloween, if you choose to hand out sweet treats, make it chocolate and help protect those ghosts and goblins from the most evil Halloween trick – cavities.