Halloween season means ghostly and ghoulish decorations, pumpkin patches, fall festivals, trunk or treating and trick or treating, and a variety of goodies. But don’t let your child’s holiday memories become haunted by too much candy consumption that causes problems for both their tummy and teeth! Help them make smart choices about which Halloween treats to eat and how much at one time.
Some goodies are better for teeth than others. For example, these are a few of the healthier Halloween treats your child may come across this time of year:
- Sugar-Free Gum & Sugar-Free Candy
Most candy contains sugar. This is why it tastes so yummy! But sugar feeds harmful bacteria in the mouth, which then produce acids that damage the teeth and irritate the gums. This is why sugar increases your risk of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
Sugar-free candy and sugar-free gum don’t contain sugar, so they don’t feed the bad bacteria that can cause dental disease. Additionally, some sugar-free items contain xylitol, which actually helps minimize the growth of cavity-causing bacteria that would otherwise accumulate into plaque. Chewing sugar-free gum after eating a meal or Halloween candy also stimulates saliva production and helps rinse and remineralize your teeth, which can help prevent cavities!
While chocolate does contain sugar, it is a treat that is easier to clear out of the mouth than others because it easily dissolves. The best chocolate choices are those without caramel, which sticks to the teeth, and dark chocolate because it contains less sugar than white and milk chocolate. Research indicates that dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can improve your heart heart!
Plain popcorn is a sugar-free whole grain snack that contains healthful fiber. Eating enough fiber reduces cholesterol and improves heart health. Remove unpopped kernels from your child’s popcorn bowl, which can break a tooth, and help your child floss afterwards to remove any popcorn hulls from their gums.
Schedule Your Child’s Visit with Our Pediatric Dentist!
Halloween can still be a fun and exciting holiday even if you encourage your child to eat their candy in moderation and to brush and floss their teeth every day! Opting for healthier Halloween treats and maintaining good oral hygiene will help protect your child’s teeth. We also recommend you schedule your child’s routine checkup and cleaning with our friendly team here at Storybook Smiles!
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