Pop quiz: What is scarier than your child changing their mind about their Halloween costume at the last minute and having to brave stores? The damage caused to their teeth by Halloween candy! While everyone loves a sweet treat every now and then, the upcoming holiday has the potential to become a major dental disaster. These four Halloween candy favorites are the top worst offenders when it comes to harming your child’s teeth — or yours, if you are raiding their candy haul.
Gummy candies are sticky, ooey and gooey. But the texture that makes them so appealing as a Halloween candy is exactly what makes them among the worst offenders in terms of dental damage. Their sticky nature doesn’t just make them fun to chew on: it also means they’re likely to stick to your teeth
. They’re harder to wash away with a sip of water or even with brushing and flossing. Because they stick, the sugar hangs around in your mouth and feeds the bacteria that causes plaque buildup and cavities.
Hard candies are usually at the bottom of every kid’s list when it comes to their trick-or-treat haul. These tough sugar lumps are often relegated to the realm of Grandma’s purse — but despite their reputation as a granny-worthy Halloween treat, these candies are anything but gentle on your teeth.
Hard candies require you to keep them in your mouth for extended periods of time, meaning the sugar they contain is continuously washing over your teeth. If you’re tempted to shorten the process and bite down, you risk breaking or damaging a tooth
If it’s got “sour”, “atomic” or “nuclear” in the name, chances are pretty good you’ll want to leave it in the candy bowl if you’re looking to avoid a trip to the dentist’s office in the near future. Sour candies contain acids that can weaken the enamel of your teeth. The acid weakens and can actually eat through the hard outer shell of your teeth, causing cavities or breakage. Because most sour candies are sticky and chewy or hard, they pack a one-two punch in terms of potential dental damage.
Sticky, chewy and delicious — caramels top the list when it comes to chewy candy, but other types of candies make use of this texture, too. Notorious for pulling out fillings, chewy candy comes with the same risks as gummy candies but can stick around even longer because the sugars are processed to stick to anything and everything — including your teeth. Whether flavored or hardened, coated with a candy shell or left bare, it’s best to leave chewy candies to the trash bin this Halloween season.
Reduce the Risks
Reduce the risks posed to your child’s teeth by Halloween candy by making sure they brush their teeth after going on a sugar binge. If brushing teeth isn’t convenient, have your child drink water after indulging in a sweet treat. Limit Halloween candy intake to after meals or before brushing to reduce the amount of sugar that hangs around and to neutralize some of the acid damage done by sour candies.
Of course, the best way to ensure your child’s mouth stays healthy during Halloween is to make sure they have a good baseline to start with. Keeping regular dental appointments and getting regular cleanings can go a long way in ensuring you don’t have to take the fun out of the holiday entirely.
The office of Drs. Krieger and Hur is ready and willing to see your kiddo before they dive into an endless pile of Halloween candy. To make an appointment, give us a call at (201) 560-0606 or book your spot via email by clicking here
. Ghosts, ghouls and other scary things await you this Halloween season, but we’ve made every effort to ensure that a visit to the dentist isn’t one of them. We utilize pain-free dentistry techniques and are happy to work with you concerning any anxieties you may have.