Around Halloween, it can be easy to get lax on ensuring your child’s dental health, with so much of the holiday revolving around candy! But we have some tips and tricks to share that make for a more tooth-friendly Halloween.
Some treats are better than others.
Worst Halloween Candy for Kids’ Teeth
There are a few candies you’ll see at Halloween that are just no good for your kid’s teeth. Usually, these candies all share one or more of these qualities: they are STICKY, and adhere to the tooth long after your child has “finished” eating it. Specifically, we’re referring to sticky or gummy candies, hard candies, and sour candies.
Sticky candy, such as gummy bears, taffy, and caramels, adhere to the teeth, making it challenging to remove from your children’s teeth, increasing the chances of cavity development. It’s best just to avoid these candies entirely.
Hard candies and lollipops are notorious for causing dental problems. They are typically sucked on for an extended period, exposing teeth to sugar for longer, which increases the risk of cavities. Even worse, biting down on hard candies can lead to cracked or chipped teeth.
Sour candies are double trouble. Not only do they contain a lot of sugar, but they are also acidic, which can erode tooth enamel. This combination can lead to both cavities and tooth sensitivity. So maybe skip the Warheads or sour gummies this Halloween.
Best Halloween Candy for Kids’ Teeth
Believe it or not, there are some options for Halloween candies that can be less damaging or even beneficial to your child’s dental health, and they are often just as delicious and popular with youngsters as the less healthy options mentioned above! The overall rule: things that melt are better than things that stick. Such as chocolate! Some healthier treats include:
Dark chocolate can be a better choice compared to other candies. It contains less sugar than milk chocolate and has compounds that may benefit teeth, but remember, moderation is always key! Some good options could be dark chocolate Hershey bars or Dove chocolates.
As an added bonus, stick to chocolates that contain nuts, since nuts can break up the stickiness of candy and decrease the chances of cavity development. Think Peanut M&M’s or Almond Joy for maximum nutty deliciousness.
Sugar-Free Candy, specifically with Xylitol as the sugar substitute
Xylitol actually fights the bacteria that causes cavities! Trident gum often contains Xylitol. In general, you can usually find any of your favorite candies in a sugar-free variety, so try those to protect your little one’s teeth.
Don’t let these treats “stick around” for too long
We’d rather see your child eat their leftover Halloween candy for the next couple of days following the holiday, then get RID of the candy. That is far less offensive than keeping the candy around for weeks and snacking on it daily!
Ensure thorough brushing and flossing after those sweet treats!
A little extra time with that toothbrush on these candy-filled holidays goes a long way!
Dark chocolate and sugar-free candy may be better for your child’s teeth, but without proper brushing and flossing routines, they can still lead to tooth decay and cavities.
Also, ensure your child continues to get regular cleanings and check-ups with a pediatric dentist. That’s where Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry comes in!
At Lafayette Pediatric Dentistry, we’re in it for the long haul. We stick with you and your child from their first visit to their last, providing advice that works and taking the fear out of going to the dentist.
Let our experienced and professional staff take care of you. We strive to provide the highest level of care to our patients, and that’s what makes us the best pediatric dentist in Lafayette, LA. Schedule an appointment with our pediatric dental specialists to give your child the gift of good dental health habits.