Halloween and Oral Health

The October holiday that all dentists fear is quickly approaching. Halloween is just around the corner, threatening an exponential consumption of candy in a short amount of time. If you are a parent that dreads the sugar load of Halloween too, there are some steps you can take to ensure your child still enjoys this holiday without sabotaging their healthy smile. Here are some rules about cavity prevention as it relates to Halloween candy:

  1. Not all candy is created equal. You can still allow your child to eat their special treats, but choosing which ones can make a big difference. The sticker it is, the worse it becomes for your teeth. Gooey candy such as taffy that easily sticks in the crevices of the teeth provide breeding grounds for decay. In addition, stay away from hard candy. The longer sugar and acids remains in the mouth and against your teeth, the greater the chance of tooth decay. Your child also may be tempted to bite down on hard candy in the rush of getting to his next treat, which could bring on the risk of cracking or chipping a tooth. As far as the type of candy, chocolate seems to be among the safest for your child’s smile.
  2. Timing is everything. Save some candy and spread it out over time. If you can reward your child with a piece of candy immediately after a meal, your chances for tooth decay lessen. The mouth produces more saliva during and after mealtime, which helps balance out the acids and wash away bacteria and particles.
  3. Just add water. Have your child carry a water bottle in his Halloween bag. Simply drinking water between candy eating will help wash away the acids and sugars that treats leave behind so they are at least not accumulating on your child’s tooth enamel throughout the night.
  4. Don’t forget to brush. Last but not least, no matter how tired your little goblin may be after a long night of Trick or Treating, don’t skip the brushing and flossing. Removing harmful bacteria, sugars and acids on the teeth as soon as possible provides the best fight against unwanted cavities.

Park South Dentistry wishes everyone a safe Halloween. Remember that when it comes to giving out candy at your house, choose treats that are least harmful to your teeth so you can help other parents too!

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