Halloween Candy: For Better or For Worse
Only a few short days until pounds of sugar will enter your house, all within reach of your children. Halloween candy threatens the health of many young smiles across the nation each year. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend $2.2 billion on Halloween candy in 2014. It may be unrealistic to take away all of your child’s candy, so it becomes very important to understand ways in which you can make Halloween a little safer for their teeth. Parents can actually use this time to educate kids about which candy is better or worse for teeth. Help children understand that not all candy is created equal and teach them that even when it comes to candy, they can make good choices.
The stickier it is, the worse it is for your teeth. If you choose candy that sticks to your teeth then you are essentially gluing sugars to the enamel of your teeth. Over time, this produces acids and bacteria that cause cavities. Also, stay away from hard candy that could chip or crack your child’s tooth. Often children get impatient with their lollipops on Halloween and they chomp rather than lick. When plunging through your trick or treat bag, make wise choices. Choose candy that melts fast in your mouth such as chocolate, peanut butter cups or even powder candy. Even better choices are sugar-free candy and sugar-free gum, which promotes saliva production and neutralizes acids in your mouth.
Staying safe while trick or treating this week also means making safe choices for your teeth. Teach your children that you can still enjoy this holiday and indulge in treats, without harming your pearly whites. You can also send your child with a bottle of water to sip on throughout the night, which helps wash away harmful sugars and bacteria left behind from candy. Most importantly, do not let your overtired little goblins and ghouls skip their teeth brushing that night. Gilreath Dental Associates proudly cares for your entire family’s dental health and we are committed to offering top quality pediatric dental services to keep your child’s smile as healthy as possible.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates