Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it does have some risks. While it’s exciting for kids to come home with a bag full of candy, these sweet treats can significantly increase their risk of cavities. Find out what kind of damage candy can cause, which types are the worst for teeth, and how to prevent cavities.
Tooth Damage from Candy
Many types of Halloween candy contain high amounts of sugar, which is associated with an increased chance of having tooth decay or cavities. Bacteria feed on the sugar that coats kids’ teeth after eating candy, leading to gradual decay. Over time, kids can develop cavities as more and more bacteria affect their teeth. Some candy, such as hard candies or caramel candies, can crack your child’s teeth or cause existing fillings to become loose.
Best and Worst Types of Halloween Candy
Which Halloween candy is the worst for your kids to have? Any type of candy that increases the risk of cavities are bad for kids, but some are worse than others. The worst of the bunch include hard candy, sticky candy, and sour candy. Hard candy can crack their teeth and leave them more vulnerable to bacteria and decay, while sticky candy causes sugar to cling to their teeth for extended periods of time. Sour candy contains a high amount of acid that can eat away at their enamel.
The good news is that some candies are better for kids and can provide some health benefits. Dark chocolate has less sugar than other kinds of chocolate and also has flavonoids that slow the development of tooth decay. Candy bars with nuts are also better for your kids’ teeth since the nuts help reduce the effects of sugar on teeth.
Preventing Cavities This Halloween
Your kids don’t have to miss going trick-or-treating this year to protect their teeth. Instead, there are steps you can take to prevent cavities. You should limit the kinds and amounts of candy your kids eat. When they do eat candy, have them brush and floss their teeth afterward. This helps get rid of sugar and other food particles that can stick to their teeth and attract bacteria. Drinking water or chewing sugar-free gum after eating candy also helps wash sugar off their teeth if they’re unable to brush right away. You can also limit the amount of candy they eat by offering tasty yet healthy snacks at home, such as carrots or cheese. Keep in mind that regular brushing and flossing, along with routine dental cleanings and exams, are the most effective ways to reduce your kids’ risk of getting cavities.
If your kids are due for their dental cleanings, contact us at Trailhead Dental to make an appointment. We look forward to teaching your kids the importance of dental visits and what they can do to protect their teeth.