Halloween is one of the best days of the year for kids (and some of us adults too!). Costumes, fireworks, ghoulish decorations everywhere and of course... candy!
However, as much fun as it is, it can be a nightmare for kids' mouths!
After the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of going through the loot, it's important to know which candies could quickly turn from sweet tasting pleasure to cavity pain.
And of course, just because we work in dental care, doesn't mean that we aren't saying not to eat ANY sweets! GASP! Naturally, you will want to know which ones can be eaten without guilt... so we are here to help you and your kids have a happy AND healthy post-Halloween!
Candies to Avoid
Sticky, Gummy Candies
Any candy that is sticky or chewy will stick to teeth and is hard to brush off. It also gets into difficult to reach places, that definitely will need to be flossed away. If left to cling to your teeth for too long, the sugars will have lots of time to form cavities.
Sticky candies can include:
- Gummy candies
- Jelly beans
- Sugary gum
Hard Candies and Lollipops
Teeth are very durable, but hard candies and suckers can still chip or crack teeth very easily. Like gummy candies, they also stick to your teeth and can wreak havoc on your teeth for hours after eating them.
Hard candies can include:
- Sucker and lollipops
- Jaw breakers
- Jolly Ranchers
- Sugary mints
Citric acids in sour candies produce the sour flavour - but it can also attack tooth enamel. Since many sour candies are often either gummy or hard, this creates a double nightmare for cavities! Sour candies are one of the worst candies your kids can eat. If you can, try to sneak them out of their loot bag without them noticing. It could be one of the best things you can do for your kid's dental health!
Sour candies can include:
- Sour Patch Kids
- Sour Keys
- Sweet Tarts
What to Do if You Want to Eat Candies to Avoid
If you or your kids are going to eat hard, sour or sticky candies, it's very important to brush and floss right away.
Moderation is also key, because you want to be careful not to brush too often, as this can also have problems. Brushing too often is hard on gums and can strip away many of the good, barriers that teeth need to protect them.
Dentist Approved Sweet Treats
Sugar-free gum can actually be good for your teeth. 20 minutes of chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva and neutralizes cavity-causing bacteria, which aids in preventing tooth decay.
Chocolate lovers rejoice! Yet another reason to love chocolate! Because it melts quickly in your mouth, it doesn't have time to stick to your teeth, which means less time for cavities to form. Even better, the darker the chocolate, the less sugar is in it... which again, means less cavities!
There is nothing wrong with indulging in sweets and candies. As previously mentioned, the key is moderation and to not let the sugary treats linger in your mouth. Set a time to eat the candy and make sure to brush and floss carefully after.
That said, these hard, sticky, sugary sweets are powerful and can still cause cavities despite your best efforts.
If your child does gets a cavity or has tooth pain after eating candy from Halloween, give us a call or book your appointment online as soon as possible. This way we can catch the cavity in the early stages, before it becomes a bigger problem!