There are lots of candy options for Halloween, but which ones cause less harm for children’s teeth? As parents, it’s normal to worry about which treats to keep and let our children eat after Halloween night. Also, when distributing candy to next-door children, a selection can be made to choose the healthiest ones.
Halloween is a very fun party for adults and for children as it’s an opportunity to dress up with costumes and put lights and decorations to entertain the neighbours. But we want to make sure that all the candy accumulation and consumption will not create regretful cavities.
When considering dental health, treats can be classified in different categories whether they are good or not so good.
Sticky candies are the worse for teeth. After they are chewed, remaining pieces stick to teeth and they are not cleaned automatically by saliva flow. This increases the contact time between sugar and teeth, creating a perfect environment for cavities to develop.
Dried fruits are like sticky candy. Don’t get fooled by the fact that they are fruit as companies add sugar to make them tastier. Also they are very sticky and increase the contact time of sugar with teeth crevices, and therefore increasing the cavity risk.
Sour candies are very acidic and make it easy for tooth enamel to break up. They act like soft drinks and energy beverages. After consumption of highly acidic candy, saliva slowly restores the acid balance in the mouth. It is therefore recommended to brush your teeth only 30 minutes after eating those candies in order not to brush away enamel.
Sugary snacks like candy corn, granola bars, cookies and cake all have high concentrations of sugar and can cause tooth decay.
Sugar-free candies do not contain sugar therefore bacteria cannot use them to initiate cavity. Also consuming them stimulates the production of saliva, which is a natural but incomplete mouth cleaner.
Hard candies also stimulate saliva production and they do not stick to teeth. But it’s important to remember that they have good amounts of cavity causing sugars.
Cheese sticks, or any kind of cheese has basic properties (bases being opposites of acids), which neutralizes acidic foods in the mouth, making it harder for cavity to start.
Sugar-free gum stimulates saliva flow and, like sugar-free candies, offers a good but not complete cleaning of teeth. Sugar-free gum and sugar-free candy that contain xylitol are even better because this artificial sugar slows down the metabolism of cavity-causing bacteria. Remember that chewing sugar-free gum is not recommended for more than 15-20 minutes or it can harm the jaw.
Dark chocolate does contain sugar but its cariogenic effect is less harmful to teeth because the chocolate dissolves rapidly and doesn’t stick. According to some studies, dark chocolate is an antioxidant and can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.
Not all treats should be eatable. Parents could consider giving out non-candy treats like glow sticks, temporary tattoos, sticky hands, play dough, stickers or quarters.
As much as parents care for their children’s teeth, Halloween is still a fun party and nobody should be denied that experience. Deprivation can send an entire wrong message and make candy seem even more irresistible. Children may end up sneaking sweets or eating too much candy once they’re out on their own. Instead, parents should let children live the joy of Halloween including the experience of going to a party or trick-or-treating.
After Halloween night is over, there are ways of organizing how treats are managed. Eating extra treats should be limited to once a day. Also, eating candy should not be lingered over too long as to minimize the time that teeth are exposed to sugars and acids.
Children should learn that eating sweets is not an all-day feast and moderation is key. Also when knowing they have a specific treat time can help make children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day.
- Best and Worst Halloween Candy Options for Children’s Teeth (Know Your Teeth – Infobites).
- Halloween Candy Doesn’t Have to Mean a Visit to the Dentist (Newswise).
- Oral Health Challenge: 5 Tricks for Dealing With Halloween Treats (WebMD).
- Watch out for gummies — Halloween candy to avoid and other expert tips (UAB News).
Les informations ci-dessus doivent être considérées comme référence seulement. Toute décision médicale ne devrait jamais être prise avant de consulter un professionnel de la santé.
Le genre masculin a été utilisé sans préjudice pour faciliter la lecture.
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