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Halloween: A Kid’s Dream and a Dentist’s Nightmare
All kids (and some parents) want to load up on all the Halloween candy they can get. Why even have the “Trick” in “Trick or Treat”?! Right?
As a pediatric dentist, I obviously don’t want your kids to eat too many sweets. Although I love seeing their smiling faces, I don’t want to find new cavities or an unglued crown that came out when they were eating a Laffy Taffy! Moderation is key here. I would say don’t deprive your kids of candy. After all, that’s what Halloween is all about! But my advice is to go through all the candy together with your kids and choose 2-3 pieces they can have that day. Then stash the rest away out of sight.
Best and Worst Halloween Candy Options for Children’s Teeth
The best types of candy for your child’s teeth are dark chocolates or sugar-free hard candies. Dark chocolates have antioxidants and are crunchy and dissolve quickly in the mouth. This means your child’s teeth will be exposed to sugar for less time.
Types of candy to avoid are hard candies that remain in the mouth for longer periods of time (i.e. lollipops) because these expose your child’s teeth to sugar over longer periods of time and have an increased chance of causing tooth decay. Similar to hard candy, caramels and gummies will stay in the mouth longer and also tend to stick to our teeth’s biting surface, creating a perfect environment for cavities to form. Sour candies have increased acidity and can cause tooth enamel to break down more quickly.
Another great idea is to give kids fun, but healthy (SHH!) Halloween treats. I love Pinterest for ideas and found a great site with Halloween snacks for kids. Check it out here: http://www.cleanandscentsible.com/2013/09/heathy-halloween-food-ideas.html
Halloween doesn’t have to be a dentist’s nightmare. As long as candy is eaten in moderation and you supplement that candy with some fun, healthier alternatives, your kids can enjoy Halloween and still have a healthy smile!
For more information on children’s oral health or if you have any questions, please visit www.ascensionsmiles.com or call us at (225) 402-4118.