By Carolina Boyd, Communications Associate
Halloween is a time traditionally filled with fun and a little bit of fright. For parents and dentists, the scares are not only limited to ghosts or goblins. They also come from Halloween candy and many of the other treats available this time of year.
“We all know that candy is not good for your teeth,” said Dr. Amar Trivedi, Director of Dental Services at Legacy Community Health. “But some types of candy are much worse than others, especially if your child has braces.”
Below are some of the top candy offenders:
- Sticky, chewy or gummy type candies are the worst culprits. The stickier the candy the longer it will adhere to your child’s teeth and make them more prone to developing cavities. Even brushing does not always remove these kinds of candy from the surface of a tooth.
- Acidic or sour flavored candy can break down tooth enamel due to the high acidity level. The more frequently your child eats one of these types of candy the more likely damage will occur.
- Hard candy are bad because of the length of time it takes to suck on the candy before it dissolves. Chewing on hard candy can cause teeth to potentially crack as well as take a toll on dental appliances.
All candy has the potential to cause cavities. Fortunately, for a festive event like Halloween, that is so closely tied to eating lots of candy, there are some better options for dental health.
“Chocolate or sugar free candy are better for your teeth than sticky or acidic candy. Chocolate typically has less sugar and is much easier to remove from teeth after brushing,” said Trivedi. “Sugar free candy is a good option for children with diabetes.”
Halloween is also an opportunity to teach kids about the important of dental health. Parents can help get their children excited about caring for their teeth by dropping a new toothbrush and some floss into their Halloween basket. If your trick-or-treater is determined to indulge, get them to enjoy their treats after lunch or dinner. Saliva production is at its highest during a meal and the increase in saliva helps to prevents acid buildup.
“While Halloween and the holiday season that follows can be tricky for the health of your children’s teeth. Their healthy smiles will be a much greater reward for everyone down the road,” said Trivedi.
If your child is experiencing any dental issue, reach out to your Legacy Community Health dentist. Schedule an appointment by calling 832-548-5240.