It's That Time Of Year Again: What To Watch For In Your Child's Halloween Bag To Protect Their Teeth

Dentist Blog

Are you taking your children out to go trick-or-treating? Are you and your family looking forward to splitting the leftover Halloween candy after all the other kids in the neighborhood have gone home? There's actually nothing wrong with that as long as you're careful about how much you eat and how you care for your teeth afterward. However, for children, especially young children, Halloween candy can be a little worse because a child's brushing and flossing skills may be lacking. Some candies are less welcomed by dentists than others at Halloween, and here's a list of candy types that you might want to minimize to protect your children's teeth.

Anything Sticky or Gooey

A comprehensive list of candy to avoid would be difficult to put together because not all dentists will agree on a specific ranking. However, sticky or gooey candies top the lists of many dentists when it comes to the worst candy for your children's teeth. These candies, like gummy candies, caramels, candy bars with nougat or caramel, and even candy corn, can coat teeth as you chew. Bits of the candy stick to crevices and gumlines. If your child doesn't brush and floss very well, that sugary stuff can stay and contribute to tooth decay.

Anything That Stays in the Mouth a Long Time

Hard candies, lollipops, and anything else that sits in your mouth, up against your teeth,  are also unwelcome. Delicious, but unwelcome, because that's pretty much pure sugar resting right on the tooth's surface. It's just as bad as having sticky candy residue sitting on the tooth. Plus, if you bite into the candies, you can chip your teeth or end up with bits stuck to your teeth in hard-to-reach places.

Dried Fruit

You'd think dried fruit would be a great choice, and the fiber and the fact that this is fruit are certainly nice. But drying fruit concentrates the sugars in the fruit into these smaller pieces, so cut dried fruit is going to be much more sugary than pieces of regular fruit. So again, you're bathing your teeth in sticky sugar when you bite into these. Livescience notes that it isn't the sugar itself that's bad, but the bacteria in your mouth that feed off carbohydrates, producing acid and thus decay. So having something like raisins stick to your teeth means these tasty carbs are available for the bacteria to eat.

Is Anything OK?

Surprisingly, plain chocolate is a much better choice because it washes away more easily. It tends not to stay around too long if your mouth produces a normal amount of saliva. Nuts are a mixed bag; says nuts can stick in crevices between your teeth, making the nuts a bad choice, but says nuts in candy bars help break up the sticky mess that can form when you chew the bar.

If you want to get a better idea of which sweet treats you can give your kids this year, talk to a pediatric dentist at a clinic like Children's Dental Center Of Central Iowa PLC. He or she will show you and your children how to brush and floss after your Halloween candy feast so that you can all protect your teeth.


16 October 2015

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!