All the sugar in those treats can play some awful tricks on your teeth if you’re not careful (we won’t even get into the many other health issues arising from Halloween candy). If you think you like candy – the bacteria in your mouth love candy even more than you do! When bacteria metabolize the sugar in your mouth, they produce an acid that decays your teeth.
What can we do as parents to divert a dental disaster?
There’s no need to give up on the fun just yet. It’s OK to let your kids splurge a little and have some candy now and then. As with many things, moderation is everything. As long as they’re brushing twice per day and flossing daily, a little candy won’t hurt them.
Regular cleanings and checkups at our pediatric dental practice can keep your family’s oral health in tip-top shape even if you slip in some candy once in a while.
But not all candy is created equal. While you’re “inspecting” your children’s candy (aka finding the Snickers bars), help them make responsible choices about what types and how much candy to eat. Dedicated trick-or-treaters can easily get their paws on far more candy than would be reasonable to eat, so help your kids trade their excess candy for my cold, hard cash (see below).
To help you sort through the trick-or-treat-bag loot, we have a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Dr. Duffy’s Thoughts on Candy
Sticky candy like Tootsie Rolls and caramel might taste great, but they are among the worst choices to eat from a dental perspective. They become stuck in teeth like mortar and can damage dental work. Limit consumption of sticky candy, and avoid it completely if your child is undergoing orthodontic work.
Hard candies do double damage. There’s an obvious risk of damaging teeth or dental work when biting through tasty morsels like Jolly Ranchers, but they also present a less obvious danger. Hard candies tend to spend a long time in your mouth, giving your teeth ample time to be completely bathed in sugar and continuing to feed cavity-causing bacteria.
While nearly all candy poses some problems for teeth due to sugar content, sour candies take it one step further than others. Sour candy can be very acidic and is almost as bad for tooth enamel as battery acid! Some of the most popular sour candies also happen to be hard or sticky, giving your teeth the double whammy.
Chocolate is the most popular type of candy given out on Halloween. You might be happy to hear that chocolate is one of the better choices for candy. It poses little risk to teeth or dental work and is easily cleaned off when you brush. You should also choose dark chocolate over milk chocolate. Not only does dark chocolate contain less sugar, but it contains certain antioxidants that help prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth.
2019 Halloween Candy Buy Back
Our practice would love the opportunity to buy your candy! Here’s how our candy buy back program works.
November 4th-8th, bring your children and their Halloween candy to our practice.
Dr. Duffy will pay you $1 for every pound of candy.
Please bring a new stuffed animal to donate to Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County.
It’s really that simple!
We NEED stuffed animals!!
Does your child have a favorite stuffed animal? Would you like to help another child have one, too? During our candy buy back program, the practice will also be collecting new stuffed animals.
It’s a sad reality that there are many children that are abused and mistreated. At the front of the fight to protect local kids is the Children’s Advocacy Center, which helps families not just in Flower Mound, but all over Denton County.
The CAC aims to break the cycle of child abuse through education and intervention, and they are a program that all of us at the practice proudly support. While the Center needs volunteers, financial contributions, and a list of other things to help families in our community, we’d like you to help them by bringing stuffed animals to the candy buyback.
Each stuffed animal will soon be a friend to a little boy or girl who needs it in a big way. It’s a great opportunity to talk to your children about healthy family relationships, and giving them a chance to help another child in the community.
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