Halloween is a lot of fun. Kids really love to dress up and go trick-or-treating around the neighborhood. But sugar can be a major problem for kids’ teeth. What’s a parent to do? As long as you are careful and limit the candy consumption, enjoying sweet treats on Halloween can be fine.
Dental decay is the most chronic childhood dental disease and can lead to further health problems. So, what can you do to keep your children’s teeth protected, even during one of the most candy intensive holidays of the year.
Start by paying attention to the kinds of candy your children are consuming. Not all candy is equally harmful. Sour candy is one of the worst culprits in tooth damage because of the high acidity content. This acidity can have a similar effect as battery acid and has more power to damage teeth than regular candies.
Next, consider how often your kids are eating candy. Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation says that, “The key thing for parents to remember is that it is how often sugar is consumed, rather than how much sugar… It takes the saliva in the mouth up to an hour to neutralize the acid.” We recommend that parents keep treat bags for their children and allow sweets after meals or substitute tooth-friendly Xylitol treats. We don’t think you should eliminate Halloween candy completely. That would be ghoulish!
For more information about caring for your kids’ teeth, call my Holland, Michigan dental office at 616.396.5919. We’ll take the scare out of dentistry for all of your family members!