Instead of waiting until problems arise from eating too much candy this Halloween season, take a proactive approach to how you will fight against tooth decay. Preparing yourself by learning more about what type of candy is safe for your child to eat and which kind you should avoid will help you protect your child’s teeth from cavities and the spread of tooth decay.
Teeth-Friendly Halloween Candy
While it is best to avoid all candy that is super high in sugar, we understand that the temptation of all that Halloween candy around is just too much for kids and they will eat it anyway. Luckily, there are some types of candy that are considered ‘teeth-friendly’.
These candies are ones that are less likely to damage your child’s teeth or cause cavities.
The following are some examples of the candy that is considered ‘teeth friendly’:
- Dark chocolate or any type of chocolate
- Small sized candy bars that contain nuts
- Granola bars that don’t contain high amounts of sugar
- Sugar-free gum
- Sugar-free candy
Halloween Candy that Should be Avoided
It is going to be difficult, but there are certain types of Halloween candy that should be avoided. These are candies that are known to not only contain high amounts of sugar, but they are often sticky or chewy which can cause teeth to crack or break or damage existing dental work.
Candies that should be avoided include:
- Gummy candies
- Candy that is coated in sour flavoring. The sour flavoring is extremely acidic and can wear down the enamel on your child’s teeth
- Candy that is extremely sticky such as toffees, caramels, and taffy
- Hard candy – it isn’t because these candies are super sugary, it is because these candies tend to stay in the mouth for prolonged periods of time which means the acid attack lasts longer
Change the Way You Think About Eating Halloween Candy
It would be ideal if you could completely convince your children to pass on the sugary sweet Halloween candy, but that isn’t going to happen. In an effort to protect your children’s teeth, it is a good idea to rethink how and when you give your children Halloween candy.
Many parents think giving their children a piece of Halloween as an occasional snack is the way to go. While that does help to not interfere with meals and spreads out a child’s sugar intake it isn’t the best way to serve candy if you want to protect your child’s teeth.
Every time a child eats or drinks anything whether it is a food high in carbs, sugary treats, or even fruits or vegetables, the bacteria in plaque will active and start to attack the teeth. The attack lasts for 20 minutes every time food is consumed. That means if a child eats candy with a meal, the acid attack is shorter than if they ate the candy two or three hours later.
Protect your child’s teeth by serving a piece of candy right after meals instead of making it a separate snack. This will lessen the length of time of the acid attack on your child’s teeth.
Always Brush and Floss
Regardless of if your child is eating the “good” candy or “bad” candy this Halloween, it is important to make sure they are practicing good oral hygiene habits.
- Good oral hygiene habits your child should be doing include:
- Brushing at least three times a day. Ideally, your child would brush after every meal and when they snack, but that isn’t always possible. Make sure they brush at least three times a day.
- Floss daily
- Drink plenty of water. It will help rinse the mouth and reduce the severity of the acid attack.
- Schedule regular routine examinations with a pediatric or family dentist
Prepare for Halloween by calling Cocoa Beach Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment for a routine examination for your child. Calling now allows you to have your choice of appointments. Call us today to schedule an appointment for an examination and professional cleaning.