Halloween Candy

Halloween is a holiday all about having fun, getting dressed up, and eating a lot of sweets. Kids adore the holiday because they have so much access to candy all at once! Sugar, in general, is risky for dental health because when the bacteria in your mouth eat the sugar, a weak acid is produced, which can lead to cavities. However, some of these Halloween treats are going to be a lot more dangerous to your child’s teeth than others, and if you can, you should help the child avoid these candies. Some candy is okay for Halloween as long as you eat it in moderation and remember to brush twice a day and floss once a day. Read on to learn how each popular candy affects your child’s teeth and what you can do to prevent cavities. 

Halloween Candy

Chocolate

Chocolate is one of the less dangerous candies, which is good because it is also one of the most popular treats to hand out. Chocolate is easier to clean off of your teeth than hard candy, for example, and dark chocolate, in particular, will have less sugar than milk chocolate.

Sticky Candies

Sticky candies are some of the worst candies for your dental hygiene. This candy sticks to your teeth and is a lot harder to clean off. The longer it stays on your teeth, the longer your sugar-loving cavity-causing bacteria can do their damage. It commonly sticks in grooves of the back teeth.

Hard Candy

Hard candies can break your children’s teeth if you aren’t careful. Children especially may get impatient with the sucking required for hard candy, and bite into it when it is still too solid. Additionally, because you have to suck on the candy for a long time, the sugar has plenty of time to wash all over your teeth. 

Sour Candy

Sour candy is often coated in sugar, and are sticky candies as well. Besides feeding the cavity-causing bacteria more sugar, sour candies are often made with citric acid and malic-acid (“extreme sours” / warheads) , which contributes to weakening the outer shell of your teeth, weakening them and allowing bacteria to form cavities faster! 

Popcorn Balls

If your child eats a popcorn ball, they’re going to need proper flossing afterward. Anytime you eat popcorn kernels can easily get stuck in your teeth and, if not found, can sit there for days. The popcorn balls are often sticky and sugary because of their shape, which can make the remnants hard to clean off of teeth. Watch out for kernels at the bottom of the batch, which increases the risk of tooth breakage.

The picture below shows cavities forming in grooves of the teeth

cavities forming in grooves of the teeth

How to Prevent Cavities

Timing

Allow your child to eat candy shortly after meals. Saliva production increases during mealtime, which will help cancel out acids produced by mouth bacteria and help rinse away food particles.

Planning

There are ways you can limit your access to candy. You could have your family pick out your favorites and donate the rest.

Or, you can hide away some candy, so it is not sitting out in the open as a tempting snack throughout the day. 

Drink More Water

Drinking water can help prevent tooth decay. You can even find bottled water that are labeled as fluoridated!

Brush and floss

We also focus on this, because it’s the tried and true way to prevent Halloween candy from causing issues.

Chew (sugarless) Gum!

Chewing sugarless gum, approved by the American Dental Association, for 20 minutes after meals helps to reduce tooth decay through increased saliva production that washes candy out and neutralizes acid. You could even hand out gum to trick-or-treaters instead of candy. Xylitol flavored gums even further prevent cavities from forming.

Candy infograph

Keep Your Smile Healthy with Cartwright Dental

Cartwright Dental, located in by Dairy queen on Lebanon street, provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at (765) 334-4423 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook.

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