It’s no secret that kids love candy. Whether it is chocolate, sour, or fruity, Halloween tends to be one of the most exciting because of the endless treats filling buckets and bags. As a parent, you naturally want to limit how much they consume in one evening. But it’s not just how much they eat in one sitting that you should be concerned about. Before letting your little one dive in, consider how you can help them avoid cavities after Halloween by reviewing the list of the best and worst candies this year.
The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
When it comes to Halloween candy, not all are created equal. In fact, some can wreak serious havoc on your child’s pearly whites if you’re not careful. While these sugary treats, in general, should be consumed in moderation, dentists understand that when it comes to this time of year, kids will probably eat more than they normally would any other time. And that’s okay as long as they’re brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and cleaning between teeth.
But which candies should your little one enjoy and avoid this holiday season? Let’s find out.
The Best Halloween Candy
Surprisingly, chocolate is one of the better options for your child to enjoy. Not only does it taste delicious, but it doesn’t adhere to teeth like other sweet treats. In fact, it washes off fairly easily, which makes brushing and flossing before bed much less cumbersome. An even better option is dark chocolate, as it doesn’t contain as much sugar as milk chocolate.
The Worst Halloween Candy
The list of the worst Halloween candies is far more extensive than you might think. It includes candies that are hard, sticky, gummy, and sour. Popcorn balls are also items your child should avoid. If it seems as if your child’s bag is full of these sweet treats, it’s best to pick them out and donate them to a candy buyback program many dental offices offer or consider having your child help you send a care package of Halloween goodies to servicemen and women overseas.
The problem with hard, sticky, gummy, and sour candies is that they are often acidic and can easily break down tooth enamel, and some can chip or severely damage a tooth. They also stick to chewing surfaces, making them difficult to remove when brushing and flossing. The longer it sits, the greater your child’s chances of developing a cavity…or two.
Ways to Protect Their Smiles
Apart from helping them avoid cavity-causing candies, make sure they follow these steps to minimize damage to their teeth this Halloween:
- Practice optimal oral hygiene year-round, which means brushing, flossing, and rinsing (if old enough)
- Eat healthy snacks and meals that contain fruits and vegetables, dairy, leafy greens, and lean meats
- Maintain regular dental visits every six months
By adopting these habits and being mindful of what your child brings home from trick-or-treating, you can minimize the risk of cavities this Halloween.
About the Author
At Brush Pediatric Dentistry, Dr. Mira Albert leads a team of pediatric dentists who make it possible for little ones to achieve healthier smiles. Offering a fun and exciting environment filled with kid-friendly amenities, we believe in helping children become enthusiastic about oral hygiene while keeping parents informed of ways they can work to improve and help their children maintain healthier teeth and gums at home. If you are looking for tips or suggestions to get your child excited about optimal oral hygiene, especially around this time of year, contact us at (630) 504-2223.