Spooky season is here and that means it’s time for all the little ones to get dressed up in their favorite costumes and go trick-or-treating. There’s no doubt that kids love getting all that Halloween candy, but unfortunately, it’s not very good for their teeth. While indulging in a bit of candy this Halloween season is perfectly fine, there are some types that are worse for teeth than others. Today, the team at ZDental has some advice for you about which types of candy are worse for your child’s teeth, and some steps you can take to reduce their risk of cavities and tooth decay.
How Does Sugar Damage Teeth?
When it comes to your oral health, excessive sugar is one of the worst things for you. While the sugar itself does not cause tooth decay, it does encourage the growth of the bacteria that reside in your mouth. As these bacteria go through their life cycle, they produce waste products that eat away at your tooth enamel. Dead bacteria also settle between the teeth and around the gumline, and they become calcified over time. This can irritate your gums and cause them to recede, leading to gingivitis and periodontitis.
Worst Types of Candy for Children’s Oral Health
Some types of candy are more likely to cause tooth decay and cavities than others. They include:
- Sticky Candies – gummies, caramel, toffee, and other sticky treats tend to cling to the teeth and get stuck between them. The longer candy residue remains in your mouth without being swallowed, the more time harmful bacteria have to consume it and produce acidic waste products.
- Hard Candy – Because you keep hard candy in your mouth for long periods of time, harmful bacteria will have plenty of time to consume the sugar it contains. Sweets like lollipops, peppermints, and other hard candies take a long time to dissolve, giving bacteria a chance to thrive.
- Sour Candy – The sour flavor in these candies usually comes from powdered citric acid, which is known to eat away at tooth enamel and demineralize teeth. Because these candies contain both sugar and citric acid, and they are often gummy-type candies, they create a triple threat to a child’s oral health.
How to Avoid Cavities from Halloween Candy
If you want your child to have healthy teeth and gums, you don’t have to ban them from eating candy this Halloween. Consuming any of the candies listed above is fine in moderation, and if your child brushes their teeth after eating them, it will help manage the growth of harmful bacteria. In addition, chocolate-based candies are less harmful, and chocolate bars that contain nuts can even scrub plaque buildup from the teeth as they are eaten.
To maintain optimal oral health this Halloween season, it’s a good idea to bring some bottled water along when trick-or-treating or attending Halloween parties. A quick rinse after eating candy will hinder bacterial growth until your child can get home and brush their teeth. After a candy binge, make sure they brush and floss before going to bed.
Family Dentistry in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
Halloween candy may pose a threat to your child’s oral health, but if you help them follow a regular routine of brushing twice per day, flossing, and using mouthwash, you can greatly reduce their risk of cavities and tooth decay. Your dentist is another part of that equation, so be sure to schedule an appointment for your child every 6 months. If you live in New Jersey or you need family dentistry near Bensalem, PA, get in touch with ZDental right away! Visit our contact page to find out which one of our 5 locations is most convenient for you and call or schedule an appointment online today.