Halloween Candy Tips
It’s October! And that means that Halloween is just around the corner. The most-dreaded holiday of dentists everywhere can lead to the most-dreaded dental visit of patients everywhere.. unless you encourage your kids to take care with their candy consumption.
How Does Candy Hurt Teeth?
Sugar hurts teeth because it feeds harmful bacteria found in your mouth. While this bacteria is present all the time, it grows and becomes more pesky when you eat a high-sugar diet. When sugar interacts with harmful bacteria in your mouth, it creates an acid byproduct that damages tooth enamel and inflames gums.
Not All Candy Is Created Equal
You might be surprised to learn that we’re not arguing that you forbid your child from eating candy at all this Halloween. By all means, enjoy the holiday! But some savvy tips can help minimize the damage that candy does to your mouth.
For example, it’s important to know that some candies are a lot more harmful to teeth than others, and it’s not all about sugar content. More important than the exact amount of sugar is the amount of time that it spends on teeth. So, sucky candies that rest in the mouth for long periods of time, or chewy candy that gets stuck between the teeth for hours afterward are the worst things that you can do to your teeth.
Additionally, sour candy can add an extra punch of damage to your teeth. The extra acid in these candies interacts directly with your teeth (no need for third-party bacteria in order to cause harm). Acid in these candies wears down enamel and cause cause increased tooth sensitivity and higher susceptibility to cavities.
So, remember this when you’re deciding which candy your child can choose: sour skittles are disastrous. On the other hand, a 3 Musketeers bar is really not too bad.
Tips for Healthy Teeth this Halloween
In order to minimize the amount of candy that your children eat without making them feel completely cheated, here’s our suggestion: offer your children an exchange. They can trade a certain amount of candies for toys, games, other treats that you know they want.
Here are some other tips to minimize the damage done to your children’s teeth this Halloween:
- Eat candy with meals. The increased saliva production will help clean your child’s mouth.
- Get fluoride treatments to fortify your child’s enamel, and visit us for regular checkups so that we can stop cavities before they do too much damage.
- Teach your child how to brush effectively. If they can’t do an effective job yet themselves, do it for them, and make sure they’re not sneaking in extra candy after brushing.