If you love a good caramel, you’re probably not the first to lose a filling to this sticky, chewy confection, and those who can’t seem to kick their habit of chewing hard candy are no strangers to a chipped tooth or three. We all know that candy is bad for our teeth, and our health in general, but you should know that some types of candy are worse than others.

With candy-centric Halloween just around the corner, now is a great time to do some recon and find out which types of candy are bound to do the most harm to teeth, not to mention which could actually be considered good for your oral health. Here are a few tips to help you choose the least worst way to enjoy the treats common to this ghoulish holiday, without getting zombie teeth in the process.

STEER CLEAR OF THE STICKY STUFF

Candy that sticks to your teeth is generally considered the worst for your oral health, not just because of the potential to pop a crown, but because the tacky sugar tends to cling to your teeth and linger long after you’ve finished your sweet treat. This, in turn, feeds the bacteria in your mouth, which produces an acidic film that can damage protective enamel.

Naturally, you’ll want to avoid anything featuring caramel, which is the stickiest sweet around. Sorry to say, this may rule out perennial faves like Snickers, Twix, and Milky Way candy bars. You should also avoid chewy, gooey treats like taffy, gummy candy, Starburst, and even Skittles. These are the types of candy most likely to stick on teeth and lead to plaque, tartar, and tooth decay.

AVOID HARD CANDY

There are two good reasons to avoid hard candy. Even though it’s not quite as bad as stickier fare, sucking on it means you have sugar in your mouth longer, while biting down could lead to cracks and chips that invite further damage and tooth decay. In addition, it’s a choking hazard, so you’ll want to pull all the hard candy from your kids’ trick-or-treat bags and toss it.

EAT IN MODERATION

It’s always a good idea to watch your daily sugar intake, not just for the sake of your teeth, but for your overall health, as well, so try not to exceed recommended daily allowances. In addition, you should try not to spread out your intake throughout the day. You’re better off limiting yourself to a single snacking on treats each day and then following up with brushing, flossing, and rinsing to limit potential damage to teeth.

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