Before you hit up those trick-or-treat leftovers or get duped into the half-price day-after sales (and subsequent mindless snacking), you might want to read all about the more surprising, gross side effects of going on a Halloween candy rampage.
Read this—and think about it every time you reach for another handful of candy corn.
1. Sugar destroys your enamel
When you consume sugar (e.g. chocolate, caramel), the natural pathogens in your mouth metabolize that sugar, breaking it down. Unfortunately, the byproduct of that reaction is straight-up acid, which stays in your mouth for a whopping 20 minutes after each piece of candy, destroying your teeth’s protective enamel. The solution? Eat just one piece or a few pieces of candy at once—rather than snacking all day—then brush directly after. We’re not encouraging you to binge, but at least you’ll minimize the time your teeth spend bathing in the bad stuff, advises dental hygienist Joann Moulton, R.D.H., B.S.D.H.
What’s more, if you devour sour candy, you’re even more at risk of ruining your teeth. It has a high pH, comparable to battery acid, which is obviously horrific for your oral health, Moulton says.
2. Gummy candy backs you up
Pure sugar candy (ones without nuts or chocolate) don’t contain fiber, which typically helps things move through your digestive system. Filling up on too many gummies, Skittles, and Twizzlers—and not leaving room for more nutritious, fiber-rich food—can leave you with a serious upset stomach, says Sarah Krieger, M.P.H., R.D.
3. Tacky treats are cause cavities
Laffy Taffy, Airheads, and good ol’ caramels—in addition to being practically pure sugar—can hang around in your mouth’s crevices for a long time because they’re so sticky. This gives bacteria and acid an extended amount of time to rot your teeth, says Moulton.
What to do if you binged on candy
Make sure you give yourself a really good brush and floss after. The next day, detoxify your body by eating foods rich in fiber (like fresh fruits and vegetables) and hitting the gym for 30 minutes. All systems should be go in no time.