Ghosts and ghouls aside, the amount of sugar Americans consume on this day may be the scariest part of Halloween. There are a lot of scary things about Halloween…but cavities don’t have to be one of them!
We can all agree that candy simply isn’t good for teeth, but some candies are worse than others – especially if your child has braces.
Sticky, Chewy, or Gummy Candy- The stickier the food is, the longer it will adhere to your child’s teeth and the more likely it is to be left behind, even after brushing. This gives bacteria more time to do their dirty work, making your child’s teeth more prone to cavities the longer candy is stuck in between your child’s teeth.
Sour or Acidic Candy- It’s the tart and tangy candy that seems to be all fun and games until they break down enamel and create lasting damage to your teeth.
Hard Candy- Hard candies are bad for your teeth due to the amount of time that it takes to suck on the candy before it’s gone.
To keep your kids from eating too much sugar in one sitting, offer them fresh snacks, like fruits and vegetables, before trick-or-treating. Snacks like apples, oranges, carrots, bananas, and grapes. In addition to fruits and vegetables, your kids may enjoy pretzels, nuts, or other healthy options.
Besides having positive overall health benefits, water is great for your teeth and mouth too! Drinking water helps rinse away sugar that would otherwise cling to teeth. It also balances out the pH levels in your mouth that sugar makes unbalanced.
Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles.
Stay Away from Sugary Beverages – This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
Floss your teeth once a day. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
It’s OK to eat candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a dental plan. With these tips in mind, your family is ready to have a great Halloween!