It’s almost Halloween, many children’s favorite holiday! This, of course, is because of the mountain of candy they receive after a night full of trick-or-treating. Before your child starts unwrapping all of their hard-earned treats, take a look at the kind of candy they collected. Some of those candies can cost your child some pretty serious oral health problems and should be avoided whenever possible.
Candy To Avoid
Hard candy and sticky candy are at the top of the list for treats your child should avoid. Hard candies are usually covered in sugar, and stay in the mouth for a long time as they dissolve. These candies expose teeth to sugar for an extended period of time, raising acidity levels in your mouth and damage tooth enamel. Also, if your child tries to chew on a hard candy before it’s soft enough, it’s possible that they could chip or break a tooth.
Sour candies should be avoided since they’re highly acidic, and Pixie Stix should really never be consumed by your son or daughter. These are just straight sugar, and the sugar is consumed by bacteria in their mouth. Sticky candies are also bad for your children’s teeth, as they leave sugary nuggets that are hard to remove from teeth, and are left for bacteria to feed on.
A short list of candies your child should avoid:
- Jolly Ranchers
- Gummy bears/ worms
- Any sour candy
- Anything sticky; Tootsie rolls, gummies, Mike & Ikes, Swedish Fish, etc..
- Dried fruit
The Best Candies
As you see on the list of bad candies, dried fruit actually isn’t a good choice for a Halloween treat alternative. This is because most dried fruits are packed with sugar, and are often just as sticky as candy. Sugar-free dried fruit can be a better alternative, but since it is still sticky, fresh fruit is a far better option.
Dark chocolate is at the top of the list for the best candy for teeth. According to several studies, chocolate may be even more effective than fluoride at fighting tooth decay, as a compound in chocolate helps to harden tooth enamel. Cocoa beans also have compounds that have an antibacterial effect that fights plaque. So not only does dark chocolate make a delicious treat, but it can actually improve oral health while you eat it!
Any sugar-free candies are also a good alternative for Halloween treats. While these sweets aren’t great for health, as they often have other bad chemicals in them, they are better than a majority of the candies on the market. Candy bars with nuts also offer some benefits, as the nuts often break up the stickiness of the candy. Also, nuts can break up some of the biofilms of the teeth.
Practicing good oral health is especially important after Halloween, so be sure that your child is brushing his/her teeth correctly and flossing!
Keep Your Smile Healthy with Affinity
Affinity Dental has six dentists and provides a variety of services from pediatric dentistry to orthodontics. Affinity Dental is capable of meeting all your needs. With 170 combined years of treating a variety of dental needs, Affinity is committed to providing quality dental care. To get your teeth back into good health and make your smile bright, call us at 410-719-7900 or contact us online. For other useful tips on dental care follow us on Facebook.