Halloween is the beginning of a stressful holiday season for parents; not only is there pressure to find appropriate costumes or snacks for school parties, but parents also find themselves caught in a tug-of-war when it comes to figuring out what candy to pass out to trick-or-treaters, as well as what candy (and how much) they should allow their children to eat. In an age that is very health-conscience, we often hear many contradictory theories when it comes to what we should or shouldn’t feed our children – and every parent wants to find a balance between being ‘cool’ while also being healthy and responsible.
There’s good news: you can be both! According to Dr. Warren Brill, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry,
“No food is really bad for children’s teeth who do not snack often. In fact, many parents may not realize that children’s dental health depends less on what they eat and more on how often they eat it.”
Dental Health this Halloween
So, if candy and sweets aren’t a regular part of your child’s diet, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
However, research also shows that sweets that dissolve quickly – like chocolate – are actually better to consume than ‘fruit’ chews that stick to teeth and cause a friendly environment for cavity-causing bacteria. The best option to make kids, parents, and teeth happy? Moderation. Dr. Sandy Murad here at 1st Family Dental agrees;
“It’s not realistic to tell kids not to have any candy. Kids just want to be kids, and a part of a kid’s life is treats. An occasional candy or two will not automatically create tooth decay. The higher risk candies are those that stay in the mouth for longer periods of time (such as suckers). The length of exposure is what actually increases risk for tooth decay. Sugar creates acid in the mouth which creates cavities. With proper oral hygiene and dental visits, kids (and adults) can enjoy their sweet treats.”
Just be sure to drink plenty of water immediately after snacking (to rinse any extra-sticky pests from your teeth) and don’t skip out on a very thorough brushing at the end of the day.
You may now rest easy… Until Christmas and candy canes, that is! 😉
Happy Halloween from everyone at 1st Family dental!