MAINTAINING HEALTHY TEETH OVER HALLOWEEN
Halloween is coming up soon and it is a favorite holiday for many children. It is great fun to go dress up and of course, all the sweet treats that are given out!
Candy in moderation is okay but it is important to realize that eating a lot of it can be bad for your child’s oral health. Here is some information about cavities and which candy choices are better.
What are cavities?
A cavity is when the tooth is breaking down and has decay. Teeth have a film of bacteria on them which is called plaque. When you eat foods or drink beverages that contain sugar, the bacteria in the plaque will make acid as it is feeding on the sugar. This acid over time can cause the hard outer layer of your teeth (the enamel) to break down. Baby teeth are smaller than permanent teeth so it may not take long for a cavity to become large. Untreated cavities can cause pain and infection of the gums and jaws.
Which treats to eat?
So it turns out that some candies are worse than others. Here are some things to consider. Chewy candies like caramels are the worst choice as they stick to the teeth, which provide a constant source of sugar to the plaque and more time to cause damage to teeth.
Hard candies like lollipops are the next worst as they take a long time to dissolve. This allows a longer period of time for the bacteria to feed on the sugar and make acid.
Chocolate or powdery candy which dissolve are better choices. This is because they have less time to cause damage to the teeth.
Sugar-free candy is the only kind of candy that will not contribute to tooth decay but I would think not too many people are passing out this kind of candy!
Consider giving your child candy only at one time during the day instead of several servings throughout the day. This is because every time they have candy, acid production increases. If you can limit this spike to a shorter period of time, it is better for their teeth!
A Happy Halloween to Everyone!