Best and Worst Halloween Candy for Your Children’s Teeth

Pediatric Dentistry for Avon, Connecticut

Too Much Candy Can Lead To Cavities

With Halloween right around the corner, your children are most likely looking forward to dressing up and going door to door trick-or-treating. Too much candy can lead to cavities, but you should not deprive your kids of the Halloween experience because being denied candy will only make them want it more. That can lead to unhealthy eating habits, such as sneaking candy or overindulging when they are away from home. Here are some tips to help you deal with Halloween candy and protect your children’s teeth.

Chewy and sticky treats, such as gummy candies, taffy, and dried fruit, are the worst because they are difficult to remove from teeth. They get stuck in crevices between teeth, and it is almost impossible for saliva to wash them away.

Sour candies are very acidic and can quickly break down tooth enamel. Saliva slowly restores the pH in the mouth. If your kids eat sour or acidic candies, they should wait 30 minutes before brushing their teeth. Brushing before then will spread the acid onto more tooth surfaces and increase the risk of eroding tooth enamel.

Sugary snacks, including candy, cookies, cake, and candy corn, contain lots of sugar. This can create acid in the mouth that can lead to cavities.

Some Halloween treats are actually good for your children’s teeth. Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies stimulate the production of saliva. This can prevent dry mouth, which contributes to tooth decay.

Sugar-free gum dislodges food particles from between teeth and increases the production of saliva. This neutralizes acid in the mouth and prevents cavities.

It is better to eat treats at a specific time than to eat them over a longer period. The more time sugar and acid are in the mouth, the more of a chance they have to cause tooth decay. Set aside a specific time for your children to enjoy Halloween candy.

Halloween is a good time to replace your children’s toothbrushes. Let them pick ones that they like and will be excited to use. Your kids should brush twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day. Help your kids with brushing and flossing until they are around 8 years old and supervise after that until the habits have been firmly established. Be sure that older kids use a fluoride toothpaste.

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David Epstein
CT Pediatric Dentist
David Epstein
A.B., D.D.S., M.S.D.

22 Jan 2022 11:54 PM