People of all ages enjoy Halloween — not just kids! Older adults still enjoy this spooky holiday by dressing up, passing out candy, watching movies, and even eating some Halloween candy themselves. However, seniors should pay close attention to the treats that they eat on Halloween.
Nearly 1 in 5 seniors have lost all of their teeth, and many more have some tooth loss. As a result, many seniors have full or partial dentures, which can limit the types of food and candy that they should eat. That’s why we want to share the top denture-friendly Halloween candy along with the candies to avoid!
Candy to Avoid
Let’s start with the candies that seniors should avoid. Generally, seniors with dentures should avoid candies that are sticky because these could pull on dentures or leave sticky residue behind on the teeth. Likewise, they should avoid candies that are too hard. Hard candy can shatter into small pieces that can get stuck between the denture and the gum, resulting in pain and irritation.
That being said, here are some of the specific Halloween candies that seniors with dentures should avoid.
- Tootsie Rolls
- Gummy worms or bears
- Laffy Taffy
- Tootsie Pops
- Swedish Fish
- Blow Pops
- Candies with nuts
- Peanut brittle
- Heath or candies with toffee
- Salt water taffy
- Hot Tamales
- Milk Duds
- Sour Patch Kids
- Air Heads
- Chocolates with nuts (like Mr. Goodbar)
Now that we’ve gotten the candy to avoid out of the way, let’s focus on the candy that seniors with dentures can enjoy! Generally, soft candies and chocolates are safe for dentures. Seniors with dentures can enjoy hard candies, like Jolly Ranchers, only if they suck on them instead of biting down on them.
- Reese’s Cups
- Hershey Kisses
- Junior Mints
- Suckers without chewy centers (as long as you don’t chew them!)
- Candy Corn
- Almond Joy
- Hershey’s mini bars (without nuts)
- Jolly Ranchers (as long as you don’t chew them!)
- 3 Musketeers
- Hershey’s Cookies N Cream
You might notice that some top Halloween favorites aren’t on this list, like Twix, Snickers, PayDay, 100 Grand, or Milky Way. That’s because these contain caramel and could be too sticky for your dentures. If you’re worried about eating any type of candy, talk with your dentist about what sweet treats you can enjoy and which ones you should avoid.
Tips to Maintain Your Oral Health
When eating sweets, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene to keep your gums and mouth healthy and to keep your dentures in great condition. Here are some tips!
- Drink a glass of water. Drinking a glass of water after you eat something sweet can help rinse away sugar and traces of candy from your dentures.
- Eat your sweets with a meal. Saliva production increases when you eat, and your saliva can help reduce the amount of sugar that gets stuck to your dentures. So, eating your sweets with a meal can help cut down on sugars that remain in your mouth.
- Clean your dentures thoroughly. Plaque can buildup on your dentures just like it can buildup on regular teeth. This plaque can calcify if not cleaned properly. Make sure to clean your dentures with denture cleaner daily so they stay pristine.
- Limit your sugar intake. While you’re enjoying your candy, make sure you eat your sweets in moderation. Too much sugar is not only bad for your oral health but can be bad for your overall health too.
- Try candy alternatives. To satisfy your sweet tooth, you can also opt for candy alternatives. Try eating a brownie or a soft cookie instead of reaching for a handful of Halloween treats.
- Check the fit on your dentures. Make sure your dentures fit properly and have a good seal. If they don’t, speak with your dentist; your dentures may need to be relined or replaced.
For more tips on caring for dentures, check out these guidelines from the American Dental Association.
As you celebrate Halloween this year with your family, we hope you can keep these candies in mind for your aging loved ones. Happy Halloween!