Don’t Let Halloween Candy Turn To Cavities
Halloween is almost here, and that means candy. Lots and lots of candy.
But with candy comes something else — cavities.
At Parkway Dental, we want everyone to be safe and have fun this Halloween. What we don’t want is for your family to have to make a dental appointment because tooth decay followed closely behind your bags of candy.
Our dentists want every family in and around Snellville, GA, to remain decay and cavity-free. That’s why today’s post is focused on ways you can enjoy Halloween without creating oral health problems.
Know Your Limits
As you and your children are preparing your costumes, take some time to talk about setting limits.
Your children would be happy to eat every piece of candy in their bags, but even they know that eating too much candy is bad for them. One, it can give them tummy aches, and two, all that sugar is exactly what bacteria needs to make plaque and cause cavities to form.
You don’t want your kids to have cavities, and they probably don’t want cavities, either.
We know that part of the fun of Halloween is getting to eat the sweet treats that you receive. However, you and your kids can decide together how much candy is enough.
When they get home they can sort through the candy to keeps the ones they really want, and you can find a place to donate the rest.
It’s also important to discuss limits on how much candy your children can eat at one time (maybe one big piece or a couple small pieces). Also, it’s better to eat candy after a meal, when the saliva can help wash away food particles.
Not All Treats Are The Same
We want to state upfront that how much candy you eat is more important that what kind of candy you eat. Eating too much of any candy — and all the sugar that comes with it — is going to increase your risk of developing tooth decay.
However, maybe you can keep this in mind when setting the limits on what candy your children (and you) eat. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry created a chart to help you sort treats by the worst, better, and best options.
The worst treats are chewy, sticky candies and sour candies. The chewy and sticky candies are more like to get stuck to your teeth. They are hard to remove, too, and the longer they stick around, the more likely bacteria are to use the sugars inside them.
Sour candies often are more acidic than other kinds of candy. This is part of what gives them their flavor, but the acids can eat away at the protective enamel on your teeth.
Better options would include milk chocolate, pretzels, and crackers. These options are less sticky and less acidic that the choices mentioned above. This makes them easier to clean from your teeth.
The best choices include dark chocolate and sugar-free gum.
Dark chocolate still has sugar, but it also had other ingredients that make it harder (harder, not impossible) for bacteria to stick to your teeth. Sugar-free gum often contains xylitol. Xylitol encourages non-acidic bacteria to grow, which makes it less likely that you will develop plaque.
Add Water (And Don’t Forget To Brush)
Whenever your children or you eat candy, you should have a glass of water nearby. Drinking water while you eat the candy can help rinse away some of the food particles that may otherwise get stuck in their teeth.
You can also save a little water for when you are finished. This way you can swish the water around in your mouth and spit it out to remove more particles.
And whenever your children do eat candy, encourage them to brush their teeth as soon as possible. It’s easier to remove food particles at this time.
Of course, it’s important to keep up your regular daily oral hygiene as well.
Everyone should follow the American Dental Association guidelines. Brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, for two minutes at a time, and floss between your teeth and gums at least once per day.
Also, Visit The Dentist
If you live in or near Snellville, GA, we would welcome and encourage you and your family to make appointments for professional cleanings and examinations at Parkway Dental.
We hope to see you a couple times every year. Not only will a member of our team clean your teeth, but we will look for any signs of tooth decay or cavities so we can treat them as soon as we can.