If you’re dreading Halloween because you know how much sugar is likely to enter your child’s system, you have good reason. Statistics show that we spend almost $9 billion on candy every year, and the month of October is probably responsible for a big percentage of that amount. Not only does all the Halloween candy have the potential to affect the general health of children, it can also end up damaging their teeth. But there’s a way to make Halloween less scary for your children’s dental health.
When it comes to cavities, some candy habits can cause more damage
Oral health experts have long known that sugar is a major cause of tooth decay, so we definitely want to limit the amount of candy our children eat. But tooth decay is actually caused by prolonged exposure to sugar. That means we can help our kids avoid cavities by decreasing how long sugar is in contact with their teeth.
Here’s what happens when your child eats candy
Mouth bacteria “feeds” on the sugar in candy and other foods and turn it into acid. That acid is what attacks tooth enamel and causes decay. Here are two Halloween candy tricks:
- Avoid sticky or chewy candies
Candies such as caramels, gummies and taffy can cause sugar to be in contact with teeth for longer because they get stuck on and in between teeth. And the longer sugar is stuck to teeth, the more time bacteria have to feed on the sugar and produce acid. The more acid is produced and the longer your child’s teeth are exposed to it, the higher their risk is for developing cavities.
- Avoid sour candies
They often contain acids such as citric acid, used to intensify the sour flavor. The acid in this type of candy can also contribute to cavities.
Halloween is a good time to think about out kids’ dental health
Oral care is a year-round job that includes twice daily brushing and daily flossing, along with regular dental visits. Call for an appointment today: 304-754-8803.