It’s time for costumes, parties, and candy! Every child looks forward to this evening of festivities, crowned by a bag of treats for their efforts. While families should enjoy and indulge on Halloween, you can avoid dental disaster by knowing the most frightening candy culprits and how to reduce the damage.
Hard candies like lollipops stay in the mouth and bathe teeth in sugar, providing the perfect environment for decay to start. Encourage your child to eat the candy in a set period of time then rinse and brush their teeth afterward.
Sticky, chewy candy such as gummies, caramel, or taffy, cause trouble for longer because they adhere to the tooth, setting up shop for cavity production. These sweets can lodge in the crevices between the teeth and are difficult to wash away. Sticky candy can even pull out fillings and dislodge braces. After any gooey treat, be sure to brush, floss, and check carefully for any leftover candy culprits.
Sour candies with a mouth puckering punch contain high levels of acidity that can erode enamel. Rinse the mouth with water to stop the erosion and allow saliva to naturally balance the acid in the mouth. Wait at least 30 minutes before brushing or you may actually increase erosion by spreading the acid around already weakened enamel.
Halloween festivities should be fun for children of all ages. Work with your family to enjoy some candy, reduce or avoid the worst culprits, and take steps to avoid dental decay.
You can also treat someone else by donating your excess Halloween candy! Town & Country Dental is accepting donations of Halloween candy and for West Houston Area Ministries (WHAM) Food Bank.
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