Want a real horror story this Halloween?
A trip to the concession stand at your local movie theatre may be scarier than what’s on the screen. The sugary, sticky, buttery snacks that we crave at the movies play a big role in tooth damage, staining and decay, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD).
Here’s a look at the worst movie snacks, and some better alternatives, as recommended by the AACD:
Popcorn: In addition to the gut-busting butter, crunching down on un-popped kernels can fracture teeth. And, popcorn husks are notorious for lodging between back teeth and gums. Often, they have to be removed by a dentist, and impacted husks are notorious for causing infections.
Sour Candies: These candies are extremely high in citric, fumaric and malic acids -- all of which can seriously damage tooth enamel.
Caramels: Caramel is super sticky, enabling it to adhere to teeth for long periods -- and that let’s harmful bacteria grow. Worse, many a filling and crown have been lost to a sticky Milk Dud.
Fruit/Nut-based Candies: They may seem healthy, but those Raisinets and Goobers are deceiving. They’re loaded with sugar.
Candy-Coated Chocolates: While not as sticky as other sweets, the colored candy shell on the outside of a classic M&M can stain teeth.
Soda: Really a poor snack for two reasons. First, those giant movie sodas contain a huge amount of sugar. Second, most are highly acidic. On the pH scale, the lower the number, the higher the level of acid. Water is neutral at a 7...battery acid is a 1...and soda is at -- and in some cases below -- a 3!
Dark Chocolate: Packed with healthy antioxidants, dark chocolate is a much better alternative to milk chocolate.
Pixie Stix: Believe it or not, these treats are better because they’re poured directly on the tongue, greatly reducing harmful exposure to teeth.
Cheese Nachos: High in fat, yes, but they’re a more reasonable choice because the sugar content isn’t over the roof, they are not acidic, and are relatively easy to chew.
Water: Stick to water or club soda instead of a sugary, acidic soft drink. Your teeth and gums -- and body overall -- will thank you.