Sugar Is Scary: Five Haunting Facts About Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

halloween candy and teeth

Sugar Is Scary: Five Haunting Facts About Halloween Candy and Your Teeth

You don’t need us to tell you that sugar is bad for your teeth. And we’re not going to tell you NOT to eat any Halloween candy this year. We’re just going to tell you to be careful—unfortunately, some types of Halloween candy can bring on a dental emergency. Here are five spooky facts about Halloween candy and the scary things it can do to your teeth.

1: Halloween Candy Can Crack Your Teeth

Sometimes the force of biting down on hard candy or a nut-filled candy bar is enough to crack a tooth or break your braces. Breaking a tooth—or your braces—is a dental emergency! Even if you don’t feel any pain, a cracked or chipped tooth is extremely vulnerable to infections and decay. If you wait to repair it, you might end up needing a root canal, so see a dentist right away. 

2: Halloween Candy Can Pull Out Your Fillings

Some candy is actually so sticky that it can pull a filling right out of a tooth. If there’s any decay around the edges of the filling, it becomes loose and it’s easier for it to get dislodged by sticky taffy, dried fruit, or caramel apples. The same thing can happen with crowns—if there’s decay underneath a crown, sticky foods can pull it loose. If you lose a filling or a crown, you’ll need an urgent dentist appointment to repair the damage.

3: Halloween Candy Can Trigger TMJ Disorders 

Eating a jawbreaker might not literally break your jaw, but it could cause tooth and jaw pain. Things like opening up your mouth too wide, biting down on something hard, and even excessive chewing can all trigger TMJ disorders. If you have a sore jaw, headaches, toothaches, difficulty opening your mouth, or hear a popping sound when you chew, you might have a TMJ disorder. Sometimes TMJ pain will go away on its own, but if it doesn’t stop after a few days, you should definitely see a dentist.

4: Halloween Candy Can Slice Up Your Gums

Cuts and scratches on your gums make it easier for gum disease to take hold. Any type of candy that can splinter is dangerous, and so is all that horror-movie popcorn. If you do get something like a popcorn kernel stuck between two teeth or between your teeth and your gums, use dental floss to gently remove it. Do not try to pick it out with your fingernails or a fork or the corner of a piece of paper. If you can’t get it unstuck with dental floss, a dental hygienist can remove it safely for you.

5: Halloween Candy Increases Your Risk of Cavities

The longer that sugar stays in your mouth, the higher your risk of cavities. If you get some candy stuck in between your teeth, or if you’re snacking on it over the course of the day, your chance of getting cavities goes way up. But it’s not good to brush your teeth too soon after eating candy, either. Because eating sugar increases the acidity of your mouth, it’s better to drink some water and wait half an hour before brushing.

Dental Treatments Should Never Be Scary

At Prescott Dentistry, we do our best to make sure that our patients are comfortable and relaxed during their treatments. We even have a comfort menu—you can ask for a heated neck wrap, a cooling eye pillow, or a blanket, and choose your own music, movie, or show. Going to the dentist should never be scary, so if you’re feeling nervous, let us know. We want to make every treatment as easy as possible on you, because good dental health means better health in general. 

If you need a cleaning because there’s some Halloween candy stuck in your teeth, or if you need an urgent appointment for a cracked tooth or missing filling, please give us a call. We’ll take care of the problem while you relax, so you can leave with a smile.


Photo by Bee Felten-Leidel on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 10/10/2023.