Halloween will be here before you know it, and after finding a costume that your child actually likes, your next biggest concern is all about their teeth. You know that they’re going to be awash with candy in a couple of weeks, so what should you do to make sure they can enjoy the holiday and not get numerous cavities? Fortunately, your dentist in Greenfield has a few simple candy tips so your child can enjoy their sweets and keep their smile healthy at the same time.
Candies to Avoid
It’s pretty common knowledge that sugar is what leads to cavities, but do you know how that actually works?
When we eat something with sugar, a small part of it is left on our teeth, and the naturally occurring bacteria in our mouth just love to feed on it. When it does consume sugar, it produces acidic plaque, which is the compound that actually breaks down the teeth and causes cavities. So, the more sugar you eat, the more plaque you develop, and the more likely you’ll get a cavity.
Another factor that matters is actually how long the sugar remains on the teeth as well. This is why you should have your child avoid hard or sticky candies that will literally stick around in their mouth for a long time. They will expose their teeth to more sugar because they take longer to eat, putting them at a higher risk of developing tooth decay and cavities. If you see them in their basket on Halloween, be sure to toss them out!
Of course, now that you know what to avoid, what kind of candy can your child safely enjoy this Halloween?
Can You Say CHOCOLATES?!
That’s right! When it comes to candy, dentists all agree that chocolates are the way to go.
Why? Aren’t they still packed with sugar?
Yes, and that’s why they are delicious, but because of their melty nature, they don’t stick to the teeth for as long as the candies we just mentioned, which exposes them to less sugar overall. Your child can eat them, rinse their mouth out with water, and that will get most of the sugar off of their teeth. Once they brush their teeth for the night, they should be completely fine, which is something you can’t say when it comes to hard or sticky candies that literally cling to the teeth. With this approach, everyone can get what they want this holiday and not end up with an “unhappy” smile.
Of course, this also means that you can hand out all the chocolates you want and feel guilt free! Once your child brings in their yearly haul, just be sure to quickly put it away and only let them eat a few pieces of candy at a time, ideally after a healthy meal. This will not only help the candy last longer, but it will also mitigate the risk for their teeth.
We hope you have a happy and healthy Halloween this year, and if you would like more tips on how to keep your child’s teeth safe this holiday season, please feel free to contact us any time!
About the Author
Dr. William Carini is a general, cosmetic, and restorative dentist based in Greenfield, WI. He has nearly 30 years of experience helping people achieve and maintain beautiful smiles, and he loves Halloween almost as much as his young patients! To learn more about how to enjoy sweets and keep your family’s smiles healthy at the same time, he can be contacted through his website.