Whether it’s a school Halloween party, trick-or-treating, trunk-or-treating, or another event, one thing is true. There will be candy. While our Cary dentists are often railing against the damage of sugar to teeth, especially children’s teeth, we know that much of the fun for kids is collecting as much candy as possible. And honestly, as long as you practice moderation and follow these tips to prevent cavities this Halloween, your family should be just fine.
Make “Better” Candy Choices
While almost all Halloween candy has sugar, there are some options that are better than others when it comes to your dental health. Here are some general guidelines:
- Avoid chewy candy. Sticky candy, like gummies, and caramel, will stick in the crevices and grooves of your child’s teeth creating a constant source of sugar to feed cavity-causing bacteria.
- Avoid lollipops and bubble gum. These long-lasting, sugary candies will bathe your child’s teeth in sugar, increasing the amount of exposure time and increasing the likelihood of damage and cavities.
- Choose chocolates. While chocolates aren’t low in sugar, they are low in acidity, making them more gentle on tooth enamel. Plus, the chocolate melts and dissolves away from teeth more quickly, leading to less exposure.
In addition to choosing the “right” candy, it’s also important to have good habits when it comes to eating. Snacking on candy throughout the day means your child is constantly exposing their teeth to sugar, feeding the bacteria that leads to cavities and gum disease. If they eat three pieces of candy all at once, then brush or rinse their teeth, they’re going to do less damage than if they’re eating three pieces over a few hours and not doing anything in between.
Drink Water After Eating Candy
After eating a treat or two from their Halloween candy stash, make sure your kids are drinking plenty of water. This will rinse away the sugar from their teeth, preventing damage. Tap water contains fluoride and other minerals which will help strengthen enamel and help fight the battle against cavities and decay.
It’s also important to note that drinking water and staying hydrated increases saliva production which keeps teeth rinsed throughout the day, removes food particles, and is also essential in remineralization in which tooth enamel builds back up.
Maintain Good Dental Health Practices
Halloween is not the time to let a good dental routine lapse. It’s more important than ever to make sure your child is brushing their teeth for two minutes twice a day and flossing once per day. Also, between the candy of Halloween and the sweet treats of upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas, you want to make sure your child, and everyone in the family, is up to date on their dental checkups. Having a dental checkup and professional cleaning will ensure any cavities are quickly repaired and any gum-damaging tartar is thoroughly removed
Schedule a Checkup with Our Cary Dentists Today
Need to go ahead and schedule a checkup and cleaning for your child or are searching for a new provider? We are accepting new patients. You can reach us at our Holly Springs dentist office at (919)-600-6262 and our Cary dentist office at (919) 467-2203. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.