Halloween is almost here. The stores are full of pumpkins, and of course, lots of Halloween candy. If you have young kids, they will probably be looking forward to trick or treating. Halloween is about dressing up and having fun, but an overload of sugar can play havoc with young teeth.
The reason why sugar is so bad for teeth is that it is loved by bacteria in the mouth which will eat the sugar too! Their way of saying thanks for the feast is to produce acid that weakens tooth enamel, eventually causing tooth decay in Newcastle. You can help to reduce the damage to their teeth by choosing Halloween candies carefully as some sweet treats have less impact on teeth than others, and by having a plan for how to approach the day.
Have a Plan for the Day
Before your child goes trick or treating, make sure that they have a proper meal. A full stomach will help to reduce their urge to binge on the sweet stuff. Once your child has finished trick or treating, you will want to check everything is safe for them to eat and this is a great time to choose candies that aren’t so bad for their teeth. Try to get them to pick a pre-agreed number of their favourites and donate the rest. Another option is to offer to purchase all or most of their candy so they can spend the money on something they really want while still enjoying the experience of going trick and treating.
Candies that are Terrible for Teeth
Some of the worst candies are those that are sticky or gummy because they are so hard to remove from teeth. The longer candy remains on teeth, the worse the damage caused because the bacteria have longer to work. Hard candies are another top offender as they can break or chip teeth and are especially hazardous if your child is wearing braces in Clarington. Even just sucking on them isn’t great because they can take a long while to dissolve. Sour candies are often very acidic and can be coated in sugar so encourage your child to avoid these if possible. Popcorn is another fall favourite, but kernels can easily become stuck in between teeth and popcorn is frequently sticky, hard and sugary. One of the less harmful candies for teeth is chocolate.
Why Choose Chocolate?
Chocolate is one of the less harmful Halloween candies because it quickly melts in the mouth and is more easily washed off teeth. Luckily, it is also one of the most frequently gifted candies on Halloween.
Limiting the Time Sugar Contacts Your Child’s Teeth
The less time sugar contacts your child’s teeth, the better so ideally, get them to enjoy any candies as a part of the main meal instead of snacking in between meals. Afterwards, it is best for them to rinse their mouth with water, but they should wait 30 minutes before brushing. Waiting gives the tooth enamel a chance to re-harden as acidity levels in the mouth begin to return to normal.
Taking the Focus Away from Halloween Candy
Halloween doesn’t have to be all about the candy, and there are lots of spooky sugar-free recipes that are often easy to make with kids. Also, dollar stores are a great place to look for spooky treats that aren’t edible and which are ideal for trick or treating, and this removes the temptation to snack on candy from the entire family!
Lastly, Halloween is just one day so enjoy it, and if your child does overdo it, make sure they brush and floss thoroughly, and of course that they don’t miss regular check-ups here at West Bowmanville Family Dental!