When the Halloween season arrives, it often means parties and sweet treats for children. There’s also trick-or-treating and festivals where children can get all types of candy, cakes, and other items that might not be the best foods for their teeth. Although children shouldn’t sit on the sidelines without the treats that their friends have, they need to be monitored so that they don’t eat too much and encouraged to brush their teeth every morning and night. There are a few candies for Halloween that could harm the teeth more than others and should be limited or avoided altogether.
Candies that are chewy can linger on the teeth even after your child’s brushing routine. They can also damage any fillings that your child has, possibly pulling them out if the filling is cracked or already damaged. These candies include taffy, dried fruits, and those that you can stretch. Aside from sticking to the teeth, chewy candies can get caught between the teeth and could be hard to get out unless your child thoroughly flosses after brushing.
There’s something fun about eating sour candies and competing with friends to see who can keep the candy in their mouth the longest. However, these candies tend to have higher amounts of acid in them. This means that the acid can begin to erode the enamel on the teeth if they aren’t brushed soon after eating the candy. After eating sour candies, children should let the saliva in the mouth work to get the pH levels back to where they should be before brushing.
Many of the candies that children get for Halloween are filled with sugar. There are cookies and cakes at parties and chocolate and candy corn in treat buckets. While these treats are alright to have in small amounts, they should not be consumed every day or for hours at a time. The sugar in the candies and other treats can sit on the teeth and begin to deteriorate the enamel. This is why it’s so important for your children to brush their teeth in the morning when they get up and before going to bed, especially if they have had a party that day or if they have received a few special treats.
Just as there are candies and treats that should be avoided, there are candies that are alright for your children to enjoy. Candies that are sugar-free are usually alright for your children. These candies tend to increase the amount of saliva in the mouth, which can then decrease the amount of bacteria that develops. Gum that is sugar-free is beneficial as it increases the amount of saliva and also helps to get foods that are stuck between the teeth unwedged.
Try to set aside a certain time during the day when your children can have a few pieces of candy so that they aren’t eating throughout the day. Avoid letting your children take candy to school as you might not know what they get from their friends or how much they will eat at one time. A healthy treat to include in your child’s Halloween bucket is a toothbrush and new toothpaste that are fun to use so that your child will want to brush every day.