Candy, Sugar, and Cavities … oh my! Halloween is that special time of year when our children dress up as their favorite superhero characters or Disney princess and seek out candy. Some Halloween sacks or buckets will be overflowing with goodies, chocolates, and other special treats. So check out these Halloween oral health tips to ensure your child doesn’t put themselves at a higher risk of cavities or dental issues.
Tocci Dental Associates works with entire families by providing everything from preventive dental care to replacing missing teeth. Our mission is to keep your mouth healthy and bright. You can call us today at 781-304-8172 to schedule a visit for yourself our your family.
The ‘Best’ and Worst Halloween Treats
We’re realistic about candy and Halloween. We understand that children — and yes, you parents — want to enjoy a few pieces of candy. That’s fine, but it’s also important to follow a few tips from your dentist. While most candy contains sugar, a substance that can increase the risk of cavities, some candies are worse than others for your teeth. Here are some thing you should consider:
- Sugar content — Your body doesn’t need sugar, and too much sugar on your teeth is a bad thing. If you’re passing out treats or waiting for your Trick-or-Treater to return home, keep an eye on the sugar content on the candy leaving or coming into your home.
- Hard candies — These treats take longer to dissolve in the mouth. Extended exposure to hard candies and sugary treats increases the levels of harmful acids in your mouth.
- Chocolate — When it comes to the ‘best’ Halloween treats, chocolate tops the list. Even though it is filled with sugar, chocolate dissolves quickly and doesn’t get stuck in the teeth. Dark chocolate, especially, contains less sugar than milk chocolate.
- Chewy candies or gummies — Chewy candy and gummies take a long time to breakdown in the mouth. When sugar stays in your mouth for long periods of time, it increases your exposure to harmful acids that can create cavities.
- Sour candies — Sour candies are made in many forms. The main concern with sour candy is the level of acid. Treats or foods that are high in acid can erode the enamel and put you at a higher risk of cavities.
Follow a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
If your child hauls in mountains of treats this Halloween, proceed with caution and moderation. We encourage parents to limit their children’s candy intake — and their own intake — and to not add sugary drinks if they are already indulging in candy. It’s also a good idea to drink plenty of water to rinse the sugar from the mouth. You can also chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva levels in the mouth. Studies have also found that chewing sugarless gum 20 minutes after meals greatly reduces the risk of cavities.
And, of course, remember to have your child brush and floss their teeth before bed!
Our office is always taking new patients! We’d love to sit with you and discuss your smile needs. You can schedule your first dealing cleaning and exam with us today by calling at 781-304-8172. Or use the online form to book a visit.