Halloween is right around the corner, and your kids are probably getting excited. They probably picked out their costumes and know exactly what type of candy they are going to consume.
You may also be looking forward to this spooky holiday but may be concerned about what all that candy is going to do to your child’s teeth.
It’s not a secret that sugar isn’t good for our teeth—or our bodies. Humans naturally have bacteria that live in and on their bodies and in their mouth. Like your kids. These bacteria like candy and sugar—a lot. The bacteria will eat any leftover food particles that are in your child’s mouth, and this produces a weakening acid. It is this acid that can eat through the tooth’s enamel and cause cavities.
As you can imagine, there are certain candies that are worse than others. When it comes to Halloween and your child´s teeth, it’s all right to let them indulge, but be cautious about what they are eating.
Below are some of the worst candies and how they can affect your child´s teeth.
Anything that you have to suck on can be dangerous for your mouth. The longer your child keeps this candy in their mouth, the more sugar coats their teeth. As they suck, the sugars will mingle with their saliva, and it won’t take long for every surface of their mouth to be covered.
In addition, hard candies have the added danger of breaking your child´s teeth. Not only can this be painful, but it may also require a trip to the children's dentist. If possible, try to limit the amount of hard candy your child consumes over the holiday.
These types of candy are probably the worst types around. They have a tendency to stick to the surface of your teeth, making it hard for your saliva and the toothbrush to remove them. The longer they stay on the surface of your tooth, the more damage they can do.
Remember, the bacteria in your kid’s mouth loves to feast on food particles. When sticky candy gets trapped in there, they have a feast that can last for a long time. This increases the amount of acid that is produced, as well as the chance for cavities.
Not only are these types of candy usually coated with sugar and can be sticky, but they can also be acidic. If your child adds more acid to their mouth, this increases the risk that they will damage the enamel on their teeth and allow cavities to form. If they get a cavity, you’ll need to take them to a children’s dentist to have it taken care of.
Out of all the candy types, this one is probably the best option. It is easy for saliva to wash chocolate off the surface of your teeth, so it won’t sit and potentially cause cavities. In addition, if your kid enjoys dark chocolate, this has less sugar in it than regular chocolate.
While eating candy can lead to an increased risk of cavities, there are some things you can do to lessen this chance. Several of these are listed below.
Your child should be brushing their teeth twice a day. Keeping up with this routine will get any leftover candy particles off their teeth and keep the bacteria from forming damaging acid. They should also be flossing, as this will remove any particles that may get caught in between their teeth.
During this time, you may also want to monitor their brushing habits to ensure they are doing it correctly. Ideally, they should be brushing for a minimum of 2 minutes each time. You’ll also need to make sure they are getting the teeth in the back and the inside edges (those that are closest to their tongues).
In addition to sticking to a brushing schedule, it’s also a good idea to limit the amount of candy your child eats. This will benefit their teeth as well as their health. You’ll also want to ensure that they are eating the sugar right after a meal. The mouth will have an abundance of saliva at this time, so that will help get the sugar and particles off the surface of their teeth.
Another way to rinse the particles off their teeth is to have them drink more water. Avoiding soda and other sugary drinks is beneficial this time of year. They will be getting a good amount of sugar from the candy, they don’t need to add more with soda. In addition, soda also has a lot of acid in it that can be damaging to your kid's teeth.
One of the best ways to keep your child’s mouth healthy is to schedule regular dentist appointments. Ideally, they should go in every 6 months. However, if they experience discomfort or suffer an injury, then getting them into the best kid´s dentist is the best course of action to take.
by Juli Brown