With Halloween right around the corner, millions of children throughout the country are choosing their costumes in preparation of the spookiest day of the year. Accumulating a bag full of your favorite candy by saying a simple phrase, “trick or treat,” is a memorable experience that boys and girls of all ages will enjoy. However, the mounds of sugary candy your child will receive on Halloween may contribute to dental decay and cavities, which is why it’s important for parents to set some ground rules.
Candy After Meals
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends consuming Halloween candy and other sugary snacks after a meal. The excess saliva produced by your mouth during mealtime will neutralize some of the acids formed by bacteria while also helping to flush out food debris.
Avoid The Soda
Did you know that a single 12-ounce can of cola contains as much as 39 grams of sugar? In addition to being loaded with sugar, sodas are also highly acidic. This creates the perfect cocktail in which cavities form. And when you combine sodas with candy, it’s even worse for your teeth and gums. If your child wants to enjoy a sweet treat on Halloween, encourage him or her to drink water instead of sodas. Good old fashioned H2O will wash away debris will allowing your child to enjoy an occasional piece of candy.
Note: you can choose fluoridated bottled water for an even greater level of protection against cavities.
Avoid Sticky Candy
Generally speaking, sticky candies such as taffy and gummy worms are worse for your teeth than non-sticky candies. Debris will wrap itself around the teeth, promoting the formation of bacteria and acids that eat away at the enamel and cause cavities. Parents should perform an “audit” of their children’s candy, limiting the amount of sticky candy they are allowed to consume.
Brush Twice a Day, Floss Once a Day
Basic oral care should be followed on Halloween. This includes brushing twice a day with an ADA-approved toothpaste and flossing once a day. Parents should also encourage their children to use a kid-friendly mouth rinse to flush out any Halloween candy remnants.
Fun Facts About Halloween:
- According to a recent study, 50% of trick-or-treaters prefer edible candy on Halloween, while just 10% prefer gum.
- Halloween translates means “hallowed evening.”
- Grown by Norm Crave, the world’s largest pumpkin on record tipped the scales at a staggering 836 pounds.
- Haunted houses, field mazes, hay rides and other “spooky” U.S. attractions generate some $500 million in revenue around this time of the year.
- The average family in the U.S. will spend approximately $7.36 on candy this Halloween.
- The average person will consume over three full pounds of Halloween candy.
When your teeth need attention after Halloween, give us a call in Little Rock at 501-954-9900 or request an appointment online!