Halloween Treats & Teeth
Halloween is all about the sweets, not just the pumpkins or the costumes. Seventy-one percent of parents whose children have had to go to the dentist three times or more to treat cavities claimed their kids eat too many sweets around Halloween.In order to prevent the increased intake of sugary candies and snacks from playing undesired tricks on your dental health, here are some tips to help you create healthier options for the whole family.
Treats to Avoid
- Did you know the puckering effect of sour candies comes from the acidity? The acidity speeds up the process through which teeth become brittle and raises the likelihood of developing cavities. Beware the terrifying sour patch kids!
- Many do not know how damaging lollipops are to teeth (the longest-lasting sweets). These candies are savored slowly, allowing the sugary saliva to accumulate in the mouth. In turn, this hinders saliva from performing its normal function of keeping the mouth healthy.
- It is a sticky scenario brought on by gummy candy. Developing cavities is elevated due to the presence of these sugary substances. Sugary foods are a feast for the bacteria in your mouth, which digest them and produce acid.
- Popcorn balls are a food that many patients think to be healthy, but when they are covered in caramel or sugar, they pose a threat to teeth.
If you are looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, try one of these healthier options instead.
- Dark chocolate as a tooth friendly treat? For those concerned about tooth decay, this treat is a safer option because it does not stay on teeth for very long. Antioxidants found in dark chocolate can help decrease the risk periodontal disease and can help fight bad breath. Another tooth friendly dark chocolate ingredient, cocoa butter, which helps prevent plaque from forming on teeth.
- Xylitol is another option if you are addicted to chewy snacks but would prefer a more healthful option. The xylitol in gum and sugar-free candies helps prevent tooth decay by neutralizing the acids bacteria create.
- Get nutty! Smaller nuts in candy bars help remove some of the sugar that could otherwise adhere to teeth.
- Miniature treats are less scary and better for your teeth than full size. While still delicious, these bite-sized snacks will leave less of a sugary film on your teeth.
Although it is important to focus on your child’s dental health all year round, Halloween and the many other holidays celebrated thereafter is the perfect opportunity to educate children on their sugar consumption & how it affects their dental health. It is important to instill in your kids a lifetime of excellent dental hygiene practices, such as twice-daily brushing and flossing and regular trips to the dentist.