On Halloween, children across the country will receive free candy and other goodies from teachers, parties, and neighbors. While trick-or-treating is an exciting holiday tradition, parents can take steps to reduce the risk of Halloween candy leading to dental problems for their children. Consider utilizing the following dental tips to reduce the risk of cavities around Halloween.
- Limit Candy to During or Shortly After a Meal
- Encourage Brushing Twice a Day
- Avoid Hard, Sticky, Chewy & Sour Candies
- Consider Chocolate Candy
Certain types of bacteria in your mouth consume the sugar from your diet and produce acids that harm tooth enamel. Saliva can help wash away food particles and sugar that lead to tooth enamel destruction and cavities. More saliva is produced during and immediately following a meal. For this reason, we invite parents to limit their children’s candy consumption to around mealtime. In contrast, eating candy frequently throughout the day would increase the amount of time their teeth are exposed to enamel-damaging acids.
Teach your children to floss every day and to brush their teeth twice every day (including on Halloween!) for two minutes each time with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Ensure that your child’s toothbrush is not worn down by replacing it every 3-4 months, or sooner if the bristles appear frayed or smashed.
Be wary of sticky and chewy candy, such as saltwater taffy, gummies, and caramel, and hard candy like lollipops and jawbreakers. Sticky candies increase the risk of oral health problems because they linger on the teeth and take longer to be washed away by saliva. And hard candy can easily crack or break a tooth. If your child wears braces, they should definitely avoid sticky or hard candy. Also be cautious of sour candies, as their acidity is more likely to destroy tooth enamel.
There are a few possible oral health advantages of chocolate candy. First, chocolate dissolves quickly in the mouth and is easily washed away by saliva and water, which means less time for bacteria and acid to damage teeth. Second, most chocolate products contain a little bit of calcium, which is an important mineral for strong teeth. And dark chocolate contains antioxidants that may reduce the risk of heart disease. Does this mean all chocolate candy is healthy for teeth? Not exactly, but it’s certainly not as scary for teeth as other types of candy. On the other hand, chocolate candy that contains a chewy nougat or sticky caramel filling can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Don’t Be Haunted By Halloween Cavities!
Our expert team can make sure your kiddo’s mouth is cavity-free at their next routine checkup so they’re not haunted by decay. Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child. Additionally, we will be regularly publishing helpful information about pediatric oral health on this blog. Follow Happy Teeth Pediatric Dentistry on Facebook for future blog updates.
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