It is fall again! As kids head back to school you might notice your local grocery store or local pharmacy is already putting out Halloween decorations and of course candy. As family dentists, a common question we hear is whether or not kids should eat a lot of Halloween candy, or if that will cause cavities and other dental issues. Most people know the important link between sugar and sticky foods with dental decay and cavities. In this article, we will discuss some ways your kids can both enjoy candy and prevent cavities and dental decay, from what candy to avoid, to how much candy your child should have. Of course, nothing beats visiting a family dentist for a cleaning and a checkup. If you live in the Lisbon area, please give us a call.
Why Is Halloween Candy Dangerous For Our Teeth
Dental decay and cavities form when bacteria eats away at our teeth. Our outermost layers of teeth protect our dentin and pulp from bacteria and infection. But those outermost layers can slowly be destroyed by bacteria. Candy has a few concerns. The sugar in candy can help feed bacteria which leads to decay. Additionally, candy is often sticky and can sit on teeth for a while leading to an increased risk in cavities. But we would never tell kids to skip Halloween entirely. Follow these tips to help decrease the risks associated with Halloween candy.
Don't Eat All Your Candy At Once
It can be really tempting for a child who has a bag full of candy to eat it all in one night and then fall asleep. But as hard as it might be, the best choice is to make the candy last. Eating a single piece of candy with lunch, or a piece or two after dinner is much better for your teeth and much better for your health in general. While it can be a hard decision for kids at first, they will enjoy having candy in a few weeks when their friends have run out of candy.
Have Candy Alongside Your Meals
The best time to have candy is alongside a full meal. Snacking on candy throughout the day can increase the duration your teeth are attacked by bacteria. By having candy at lunch or after dinner for dessert, you decrease how often your teeth are put at risk. Plus if you brush and floss before bed, you can prevent the sugar from the candy from staying in your mouth overnight.
Brush and Floss Before Bed & After Candy
The worst damage candy can do to teeth is overnight. While we sleep bacteria can grow and damage our teeth without interruption. If you have candy before bed, make sure brushing and flossing is the last thing you do before you go to sleep. This is the best way to remove candy residue and protect your teeth.
Family Dental Services in Lisbon Maine
If you live in Lisbon Maine or the surrounding towns and are looking for a family dental office, please give us a call. We would be happy to discuss dental services for you and your family.