Halloween candy gives dentists a scare not just because of the high levels of sugar, but the constant snacking that occurs when such large amounts of candy are in easy reach. Constant snacking provides a steady stream of sugar into the mouth, on which bacteria feed and produce enamel-eroding acid. While cutting back on sugary sweets is best for your oral and overall health, following these snacking strategies will help defend your teeth from a candy-induced acid attack.
- Limit candy consumption to mealtimes, when saliva levels are elevated and sugar is more easily washed away.
- Choose a few treats to eat, and put the rest out of sight. After indulging, pop some sugar-free gum or rinse well with water.
- At parties or events where constant snacking is unavoidable, sip on water to help wash away those sticky sugars and starches.
- Donât let your child keep a stash of candy in their room, as temptation may give way to nighttime looting.
- Make a deal with your child â he or she may choose several treats to eat, but must go brush immediately afterward for a full 2-3 minutes.
- Donât allow children to eat any candy while trick-or-treating. This will keep sugar off their teeth and allow an adult to check the candy for tampering.
- Talk to children about the dangers of tooth decay, and explain to them how candy can harm teeth. Young kids can learn about oral health by viewing animated oral health adventures from the Smile SquadTM.