Between the costume parties, dressing up and of course, the challenging candy haul, Halloween is one of the most favorite holidays of the year for kids (and many adults). Unfortunately, while Halloween is a time for candy and trickery, the spookiest and the sweetest holiday of the year not only brings out the goblins and the ghosts, it may also bring unwanted cavities. It is important to for kids of all ages to enjoy the holiday and it is even okay to indulge in sweets, but it is also important that you do all you can to protect your teeth, mouth and gums. Before trick or treat night arrives, preparing yourself and your children with preventative dental care and educate yourself on the types of candy may cause the most damage to teeth.
Halloween Candy to Avoid
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria induced acid that eats away at the protective enamel. The acid is produced when bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar. Kids and adults alike should enjoy a few sweet treats on Halloween, but there are certain candies that can cause serious damage to teeth. The top candies that should be avoided include:
- Caramel and taffy-not only does the sticky substances found in taffy and caramel stay on teeth several hours after eating it, the sugars in these types of candies are also excellent resources for bacteria. The saliva in the mouth typically isn’t strong enough to wash the substance away from teeth, so there is a greater risk of it eating away at tooth enamel.
- Hard candy-Jolly Ranchers and lollipops are the most common types of hard candy, both of which are mainly sugar. They dissolve slowly, which means they stay in your mouth longer than other types of candy, increasing the risk of cavities.
- Bubble gum-although stick gums typically do not stick to your teeth, bubble gum stays is packed full of sugar and it stays in your mouth for a long period of time. The candy coated gum balls are the worst types of bubble gum, because chewing them is like continually bathing your teeth in sugar. The best type of gum is sugar-free sticks. It doesn’t leave a residue on teeth and it usually contains natural sugars which do not form plaque on teeth.
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without dressing up as your favorite super hero or character, but Halloween masks can be dangerous, especially for younger children. It is recommended that costume make-up be used as opposed to wearing a face mask. Accessories, such as vampire teeth may also cause injuries to mouth and gums, so be sure to check these items to ensure they are smooth on all edges and that there are no sharp teeth or pieces attached to them, such as jewelry. Masks should fit comfortably and not interfere with breathing.
Halloween can be a dental disaster free holiday as long as candy is eaten in moderation. Choose candy wisely and limit the kids to one or two pieces each day. After eating each piece of candy, encourage children to drink water, which will help to rinse the candy from their teeth. Halloween is also the perfect time to remind children about the importance of regular flossing and brushing. It may also be a good idea to schedule a dental appointment to have teeth cleaned and checked as well as talk with the dentist about dental sealant, which may help to reduce the risk of cavities in children.
If you need to schedule an appointment with me today, please call: 619-285-1200.
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