Another October is upon us, which means kids are anxiously anticipating Halloween. Right now, most children are putting together their costumes and preparing for Halloween parties and trick-or-treating. And of course, they are looking forward to getting lots and lots of candy.
It’s no secret that eating massive amounts of candy is not good for maintaining healthy teeth. But the truth is some types of candy pose a much greater risk to your children’s oral health than others. So which pieces of candy should you let your kids keep and which ones should you throw out?
Dr. Pamela Marzban believes it is important to educate her family dentistry patients so that children can minimize the risk of post-Halloween tooth decay. The following guide should help you as you sort through your children’s bag of candy on November 1st.
The following types of Halloween candy create the greatest risk of tooth decay and should be avoided if possible:
- Sour candy – Sour candies such as gummy worms, lemon drops, and sour patch kids contain lots of acid which can wear down your child’s tooth enamel.
- Taffy and candies filled with caramel, coconut, or nuts – These candies may be the absolute worst for your children’s teeth. They stick to everything inside of your mouth, including the grooves of your teeth. As these candies stick to your child’s teeth, they produce bacteria which can lead to cavities.
- Hard candies – Lollipops, jawbreakers, and other hard candies take a long time to dissolve in your mouth. As a result, your child’s teeth are being inundated with sugar and acid for longer periods of time, increasing the risk of cavities.
- Powdery candy – Powdery candy such as Pixie Stix are made entirely of sugar. This creates an ideal environment for bacteria to grow, increasing your risk of tooth decay.
So what should you allow your children to eat instead? Dr. Marzban recommends the following alternatives:
- Sugar free gum – This is the best option since it does not leave a sticky residue and it contains xylitol, a natural sugar that limits the growth of bacteria.
- Chocolate without sticky fillings – If your children are craving a sweet treat, chocolates without sticky fillings provide a good option since they do not stick to your teeth.
- Raisins – Raisins may not be the most popular Halloween treat, but they are healthier than candy alternatives which contain a much higher concentration of sugar.
Of course, the best way to limit the damage that Halloween candy will cause to your children’s teeth is to schedule their regular teeth cleaning with Dr. Marzban for early November.
Please contact Dr. Pamela Marzban today to schedule your child’s initial dental appointment. Dr. Marzban serves patients in Burke and Fairfax, Virginia.