Is Halloween Candy Really THAT Bad for Your Child’s Teeth?
Halloween is just a week and half away. We’re almost certain you and your child have picked out the absolute perfect costume for this year, one that is sure to get him a double helping of trick-or-treat candy at your neighbors’ doors as they say “Ahhhhh, sooooo cuuuuutteeeeee!”
And then, as your child empties out his haul on your living room floor when you return home, you’ll be gobsmacked at How. Much. Candy. He. Has!
And you’ll be saying to yourself, “OMG! All that sugar! He’ll get a cavity this month for sure!”
But will he?
First of all, resist the impulse to grab up the candy yourself and toss it in the trash. Or worse, not allow your child the trick-or-treat experience at all.
Instead, we suggest that you do the following:
- Go through the candy with your child. Allow him to pick up to 10 items that he may eat that week. If your child balks at this “low” number, work with him to come up with a number you both can agree upon. Allow him to eat two or three pieces right then, and let him know he can have one or two after supper each night, but that he MUST brush his teeth as soon as he’s done. (You also could agree to give him one piece to take to school in lunch, and then eat the second after supper. Whatever works best for your family’s rules.)
- You can also talk to your child and explain how excess sugar can lead to cavities, and that’s why you’re limiting his access to the candy.
- You can then allow him to pick 10 pieces of candy each week until his haul is gone (and get rid of half of it while he’s at school so that he won’t eat the full amount; we won’t hold it against you….)
Parenting magazine has deemed the following typical trick-or-treat candies as the worst for your child’s teeth:
- Taffies and caramels, especially with nuts or coconut inside since they can really stick to your child’s teeth, giving bacteria a chance to get a foot hold there.
- Lollipops and jawbreakers because they can take a long time to dissolve and the longer a food stays in one’s mouth, the more acidic the mouth becomes.
- Speaking of acidic, sour candy has a high acidic content, which can break down your child’s tooth enamel.
- Candy such as Pixie Stix are pretty much nothing but sugar and can lead to the formation of cavities because they can change the mouth’s PH and provide bacteria in the mouth a direct “hit” of sugar to eat.
Make sure your child brushes twice a day and flosses at least once a day. It’s also wise, if he hasn’t been to a dentist in more than six months, to schedule a checkup appointment with Plano dentist Dr. Darren Dickson today. Call us today or send us an e-mail message at [email protected].
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