Nothing is more exciting for kids or scarier for pediatric dentists than the sweets and sugars hauled home after a Halloween candy crusade. Rather than denying kids all indulgences this October, Dr. Michelle Haghpanah urges you to consider these tips for children’s’ oral health and wellness in the face of dangerous deliciousness this Halloween.
Not all candies are created equal. Sticky candies, like taffy or caramels, or those which are especially long-lasting, like jawbreakers or lollipops, are the worst for your child’s teeth because of the duration their sugars stay in the mouth, longer exposing teeth to the acid the sugars create. Consider removing these especially damaging goodies before giving kids selection of their Halloween loot.
Timing matters. Brushing right after eating acidic foods, like Halloween candy, can be dangerous and damaging to teeth, because the acid from the candy softens tooth enamel and brushing while that enamel is sensitive may damage the tooth further. The best time to let kids indulge in Halloween sweets is during or directly after meal time, rather than hours later or multiple time throughout the day. The more acid exposure teeth get throughout the day, the more breakdown they endure.
Sugar-free is sweeter. Chewing sugar-free gum is a great way to increase saliva production in the mouth, neutralizing acid and protecting your child’s teeth from the tricks that treats can play on teeth! Sugar-free gum doesn’t leave sticky residue in teeth, and the natural sugar it’s sweetened with, xylitol, is plaque resistant.
Don’t let cavities scare you this Halloween! To make sure your little ghouls and goblins stay the spooky stars of the show this October, encourage regular brushing with a fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing, infrequent snacking, and mindful meal choices with kids this All Hallow’s Eve and every day.
For more information about keeping kids’ mouths cavity-free this October, or to schedule your free consultation, call Dr. Michelle Haghpanah today at (650) 322-9837