By Riverside Pediatrics, LLP
October 31, 2014
Now that we are welcoming October, you may have already noticed glowing pumpkins and spider webs decorating your neighbors’ houses. Your child may even be trying to figure out what costume he wants to don and already salivating at the idea of all the Halloween candy he’s going to snag. However, this time of year always has you thinking about your child’s smile. You want him to be able to indulge in some yummy treats without it being a detriment to his oral health. After all, your child isn’t going to be too happy when he has to get a cavity filled. Don’t let dental problems ruin Halloween. Here are the best and worst Halloween candies for your child’s smile.
Worst Halloween Candy:
Sour warheads and sour patch kids might sound like a yummy option this Halloween; however, these highly acidic treats can quickly attack tooth enamel. The one good thing about partaking in sour snacks every once in a while is that saliva will do its part to help restore the acidic balance in your mouth. To protect you teeth from erosion, we recommend that your child waits about 30 minutes after consuming these sour treats to brush his teeth. Waiting to brush means that the acid won’t just be pushed around the mouth, landing on other dental surfaces and eating away at healthy tooth enamel.
This includes anything like taffy or gummy bears that will stick to teeth. These chewy delights make it harder to remove, and if your child doesn’t do a thorough job of brushing, this candy can remain in the crevices between the teeth.
3. Candy with high sugar content
Cakes, cookies and other candies with a high level of sugar are more likely to cause tooth decay. So maybe think twice before putting out that huge bag of candy corn!
Best Halloween Candy:
1. Sugar-free candies
You don’t have to tell your child its sugar-free! They’ll still get to enjoy their favorite treats but you won’t have to worry about the dentist’s bill. There are tons of sugar-free options from baked goods and licorice to other traditional Halloween candies, and your child won’t know the difference.
2. Dark chocolate
Dark chocolate has been known to offer a variety of health benefits including being good for your heart. Just thank the antioxidants! However, all your child will know is that it tastes yummy.
3. Hard candies and lollipops
Candies that kids can suck on will help stimulate saliva, which will keep mouths happy. Plus, this will also prevent dry mouth, which can increase plaque buildup.
When your child dumps his bag of candy on the table this Halloween, help sort through the keepers with your child to ensure that his smile stays healthy during this bewitching holiday. Let’s leave the scary smiles to the snaggle-toothed pumpkins this year!
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