After a night of trick-or-treating, children are more than excited to dig in and eat their hard-earned treats. Parents may think that the days following Halloween is when they have to be more lenient about the amount of candy their children eat, but pediatric dentists urge parents to pay closer attention to their teeth and the candy they are consuming.
Children are receiving a variety of different candies, and dentists recommend avoiding sticky or liquid candies, which tend to stick onto children’s teeth. Individuals may ask whether there is a better alternative than these candies, but it is hard to give a solid answer. Candies are high in sugar content, providing the bacteria in the oral cavity with plenty of food. This ultimately increases the production of acid via bacteria, which leads to a higher risk of tooth decay and cavities. When looking through children’s basket of candy, here are a few candies that tend to be less harmful for teeth:
1. Sugar-free candy and gum with xylitol: these candies do not continue sugar, which is the primary source of food for bacteria; gum and candy has the potential to prevent tooth decay by increasing saliva and rinsing sugars and acids in the oral cavity
2. Even though powdery candy is packed with sugar, powder tends to dissolve quickly and is less likely to stick to teeth
3. Chocolate: chocolate also dissolves relatively quickly in the mouth; however, try to stay away from chocolate containing caramel and nuts, which are substances that can easily stick to teeth
Halloween can be a treacherous time for teeth, but there are also many ways to help children prevent tooth decay. Be sure to monitor the amount of candy that a child is consuming. After eating the candy, it is important to enforce proper brushing. Make sure that sticky candies have been brushed off and removed for tooth surfaces. A toothpaste containing fluoride can also keep teeth strong, protecting them from cavities. 30 seconds of brushing should be allotted to each quadrant, with a total of 2 minutes of brushing. Going in the small crevices between teeth is just as important, ensuring that there is no sugary residue for bacteria to consume and produce acid.
Holidays are always a fun time, but be sure to help your child practice good oral hygiene! If you have any more questions, feel free to contact Drs. Ali & Ali and the caring team at Wellesley Dental Group; they will be happy to answer your questions! Contact us today at 781-237-9071 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please donate all excess Halloween candy and handwritten notes to be sent to the troops overseas in their care packages along with oral hygiene supplies.
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