Dentist’s dread it (not really) and kids love it. You guessed it, we’re talking about Halloween.
Every year, children (and some teenagers) march forward in hordes to descend on expecting neighborhoods and extract their sweet, sugary bounty with the battle cry “Trick or treat!” and – even as dentists – we can’t disagree, it’s plenty of fun.
But when parents think about Halloween – the important thing to remember is that no fun is free, and the same is true for teeth.
That’s because sugar is basically cavity fuel, or if we’re keeping with the Halloween theme: nightmare fuel. To put it simply, cavities are nightmares. They are deep dark holes that form in the teeth of you and your kids. While many people think sugar is the root cause of these nightmares, they’re actually wrong. Sugar’s just the fuel for harmful bacteria that needs fuel to produce acid, which lets that nightmare dig deeper and deeper into the meaty insides of your teeth to continue its spread.
That is why parents need to be extra careful about what kind of candy they let their kids collect on halloween, and how they enjoy it.
Hard and sticky (kind of icky)
Remember this saying: “Hard and sticky, kind of icky (for teeth)” because it’s true. Hard candy and candy that sticks to your teeth do the most damage because the nature of the candy extends how long the sugar stays in contact with your teeth. It’s almost like holding a mosquito in place to give her a better opportunity to feast on your blood – not ideal. So, if you can’t completely stay away from sticky candies, the next best approach is to simply make sure you’re rinsing and brushing shortly after enjoying your forbidden candy.
Get rid of it!
Just because your family managed to collect 300 pieces of candy doesn’t mean you have to enjoy every single one of them. Your waistline and your teeth will thank you if you try your best to limit your stash. Have the family pick their favorites and simpy donate the rest. OR, hide it away for a rainy day (if you must)
Try another kind of candy, gum!
By chewing sugarless gum, increased saliva flow successfully increases saliva low to help neutralize the acid produced by the bacteria in your mouth. So after any candy binge, sugar-free gum is a great idea.
Have a question for our dentists in Garden Grove? We’re here to help. We hope that Halloween doesn’t have a negative impact on your teeth – but if it does, we have the answers you’re looking for.