Special Feature: Products Sally Recommends
The Good and Bad of Your Kid's Halloween Candy
by Cynthia Tyson
Dressed in her Halloween attire, your little princess walks down the sidewalk with wand and plastic pumpkin basket in hand. While she thinks about all the sweet treats she’ll enjoy when she gets home, you’re dreading the sugar rush and damage to her teeth. While candy is a big component of this spooky holiday, you can teach your child to make better choices when it comes to choosing which candy she eats.
Certain kinds of candy may be harder on teeth as they lower the pH in the mouth, causing the acidity to remove tooth enamel, according to Harvard Health. Thanks to quality dental care services specifically for young kids like Kool Smiles, children can prevent cavities and other dental problems through regular checkups by skilled professionals who tailor their care plan to keep little ones more comfortable. Know the best and worst Halloween candies for your kids for the upcoming holiday.
Sticky and Chewy Treats: Taffy, gummy bears, caramels, and dried fruits easily stick to the teeth and are difficult to remove during brushing. Sugar and food particles stuck in small crevices between teeth can prompt tooth decay.
High Sugar Treats: Various types of cakes, cookies and candy, including candy corn and “fun-size” chocolate bars, all contain high amounts of sugar. Regular consumption of these treats can result in tooth decay and an increased risk of cavities.
Sour Treats and Candies: Sour candy is highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel at a fast pace. Smarties, Lemon Heads and Sour Patch Kids are great examples of sour treats that can damage teeth.
High Calorie Treats: There’s no denying that many candies are high in fat. For example, a 59-gram Snickers bar has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat and 30 grams of sugar. These high calorie candies should be limited.
Sugar-Free Gum: Many kids like to chew on flavored sticks of gum and the sugar-free variety is the best option. Sugar-free gum can actually prevent the formation of cavities as it helps dislodge food particles and neutralizes acids in the mouth to prevent decay.
Hard Candies: Not only a popular Halloween treat and a tasty one at that, hard candies and sugar-free lollipops are a go-to treat for trick-or-treaters. Hard candies stimulate salvia, which can prevent dry mouth that can cause an increased risk of cavities.
Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate is a potent antioxidant and actually good for you, according to Italy’s National Institute for Food and Nutrition Research. Antioxidants eliminate free radicals and destroy molecules that are implicated in heart disease.
More than 19 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 19 have untreated cavities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Making some vital changes to your child’s diet can make a significant impact on their dazzling smile. One in four children develops signs of tooth decay before they even start school, according to WebMD. Therefore it’s vital to begin your child’s dental care as soon as her first tooth emerges. Children as young as 2 years old can begin brushing their teeth themselves. To help rinse away food particles, the American Dental Association recommends that children eat Halloween candy with meals, as saliva helps neutralize acids. Good dental care and diet habits should be continued from Halloween throughout the year.