A Dental Assisting Inspired Halloween
As Halloween comes nearer to the light, MedQuest College has decided to dig deep into the candy world. In acknowledgement of our Comprehensive Dental Assisting Program, we are looking closely at what spooky sweets may be waiting for you. Dental care and proper hygiene are always important, but with the sugar-rich goodies bound to stack up inside your nearest dish, it’s time to stir the cauldron. Here is our list of good and bad candies to keep an eye out for this trick-or-treat season. Happy Halloween Kentucky!
On October 31st, massive amounts of candy will be handed out across Lexington & Louisville. Costumed neighbors roam the streets like the walking dead! This year alone, consumers are expected to spend over two billion dollars on Halloween candy according to an annual survey conducted by the National Research Federation. We want our students, family and friends in Kentucky to be ready to fight off the haunting impact of sugar and its ilk this October.
Teeth Friendly Halloween Sweets
1. Xylitol chewing gum – Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in most fruits. Xylitol, unlike added sugars, contains no fructose and has a minimal impact on your blood sugar level – talk about a haunting revelation! Additionally, Xylitol has been shown to disrupt the replication pattern of mutans streptococci (bad teeth bacteria) and lead to its death. Most foods contain high levels of glucose, which the bacteria feeds upon, but not Xylitol! This unique compound even has the ability to strengthen enamel while preventing damaging effects, like those associated with normal sugars. Fun fact: this compound was first extracted from a chemical called xylene in hardwood.
2. Dark chocolate – Did you know that cocoa has a compound in it that studies have shown helps harden tooth enamel? Of further interest, dark chocolate contains significantly less sugar than milk chocolate, which means you can feel a bit better when grabbing that 60% salted bark! Cocoa beans have been shown to contain not only massive amounts of antioxidants, but also antibacterial compounds as well. Antibacterial content varies depending on region and roasting method, but be on the look out for true dark chocolate this Halloween. It can help you maintain a sense of healthy eating amid sugary chaos.
3. Nutty candy bars – If you want to feel good about consuming a lot of chocolate this year, be sure to snatch a few candy bars packed with nuts in order to rest easy as the spirits walk the earth! Candy with nuts inside provide enough variability in your bite so that you aren’t simply eating a sweet sugary mass of chocolate. Sugar tends to stay on the teeth for a shorter amount of time when eating bars with nuts inside. Plus, these types of candy bars add a bit more protein to your snack. This can be a good thing if you are looking to get shredded before running out of that haunted house you’ve been stuck in for days.
4. Smarties – These candies are some of the easiest on your teeth with only 6grams of sugar per 15 pieces. Not bad either is the fact that one roll holds only 25 calories. Did we mention that Smarties are also gluten free? They are! If you want to keep your mouth happy, grab a roll of these tart treats this Halloween and get your sweet fix without the guilt. In case you ever wanted to know what those flavors really are, white is orange/cream, yellow is pineapple, pink is cherry, green is strawberry, purple is grape and orange is…well, orange.
Halloween Teeth Trauma
Now that the good stuff is out of the way, let’s look at the candy to be wary of this Halloween! Our Dental Assisting students can only clean so much!
1. Hard candy – A totally broken smile can be very fashionable this season if you are going for the “something lurking beneath the bridge” look. It is still advisable to avoid hard candy if you have sensitive teeth. Not only is hard candy more likely to stick around on teeth, increasing their exposure to sugar, but it also has a tendency to crack teeth if you aren’t careful. Avoid this stuff like the plague if you are worried about catching some helpful shade from your dentist or their assistant.
2. Sour candy – This stuff is deliciously dangerous! It’s bold and shocking, just like a good horror flick. Sadly, sour candy is often loaded with acid, particularly malic acid. This stuff can slowly destroy top layers of teeth and should be eaten in moderation. It’s also important not to brush your teeth immediately after eating sour candy, as you are essentially brushing trace amounts of the acid onto your teeth and gums. Acid wears down enamel that protects your teeth.
There you have it! This list may not be comprehensive enough to fight off all the dental ghouls and goblins this year, but it’s a great resource to keep your gums and teeth in check. It also might be a great excuse to snatch some extra candy from the kiddos as they return from trick-or-treating in Kentucky this year. If you want to learn more about dental care as a career path in Kentucky, be sure to schedule a tour at MedQuest. Become an EDDA certified Dental Assistant and help your friends this Halloween in Lexington and Louisville.