You know that sugar is bad for your teeth.
That’s because you’ve probably heard it since you were a kid, especially around Halloween.
But our team at Bayou Dental Group in Monroe, LA wants to make an important clarification.
It’s not really the sugar that hurts your teeth.
It’s bad bacteria that live inside your mouth that feeds off the sugar that’s the real troublemaker for your dental health.
That’s because the feeding process results in harmful acids that attack your teeth and lead to decay and cavities.
With that in mind, we want to give you some helpful pointers on keeping your family’s teeth healthy before everyone starts digging in on the treasure of Halloween candy in a couple of weeks!
Halloween Candy And Your Family’s Teeth
Keep these tips in mind before you and your family head out for trick-or-treating!
*Use Teeth For Their Proper Purpose*
Depending on the costume, your child might have some kind of props to carry around, in addition to their candy bag. That might tempt them to hold plastic items like, toy weapons or wands, in their mouth at times when they need both hands free.
Hold their props for them instead so they can use their teeth for the proper purpose and prevent dental damage.
*Don’t Trick-Or-Treat On An Empty Stomach*
Just like people who are watching their weight know that doing the family’s grocery shopping on an empty stomach isn’t a good idea, you want to make sure the kids don’t trick-or-treat on an empty stomach either.
They might be too tempted to go overboard and dig into the candy bag or bucket all night. Make sure they’ve had something healthy to eat before the trick-or-treating begins!
*Rinse Your Mouth With Water Often*
Any time the kids eat candy, make sure they rinse their mouths out with water. This will help keep their teeth and gums cleaner in between brushing and flossing.
Drinking plenty of water, as always, is just as important because it promotes saliva production and protects their teeth, as well.
*Try To Avoid Hard, Sticky Candy*
It’s up to you which candy you allow your kids to eat, but knowing about how different types of candy will affect their teeth might help you decide.
It’s really a matter of how long their teeth are exposed to sugar rather than how much sugar they’re eating. In other words, gooey, sticky candy that contains taffy, marshmallows, and caramel, for example, will literally stick to their teeth and wedge into the tiny crevices inside the mouth.
Also, any candy you have to suck on for a long time will make them more vulnerable to tooth decay because it gives bacteria plenty of time to eat it and secrete harmful acids in the process.
*Enjoy Candy In Moderation*
Keeping the kids away from candy altogether this Halloween, while certainly well-intentioned, may backfire on you. Their classmates and neighborhood friends will all be eating candy, and it could tempt them to want it even more and cause them to overdo it if the opportunity presents itself.
What might be more effective is to store the Halloween candy out of sight and allow them to have one or two pieces after dinner. That way you can monitor their sugar intake and know that they’ll be brushing their teeth soon enough once bedtime rolls around.
Call For An Appointment
After Halloween, bring your family in for a dental checkup. We’ll remove any plaque buildup, deeply clean everyone’s teeth, and thoroughly examine your loved ones for signs of tooth decay or cavities.
We’re excited to see your family and hear about how much fun the kids had this Halloween!