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Trick-or-treating can be good, spooky fun for the entire family, but if you’re not careful, it might ultimately lead to a visit to the emergency dentist in Hampton. This doesn’t mean you need to stop your children from enjoying candy altogether, but you should be aware that some treats will be worse for their pearly whites than others. Here are 3 kinds of Halloween candy that your little ones need to be extra careful around.
1. Chewy Candy
Gummy sweets like Starburst or taffy tend to stick to the teeth. That means the sugar they contain stays in the mouth longer than it would otherwise, giving oral bacteria more of a chance to feed on it. When these bacteria eat sugar, they secrete an acid that wears through the tooth’s enamel, leading to cavities. This is especially a problem if the candy gets stuck in the spaces between your teeth, where it’s much harder for saliva to wash them away.
2. Hardy Candy
Peppermints, jawbreakers and other hard candies stay in the mouth for a long time, which in turn increases the risk of cavities by leaving the sugar they contain to mix with the saliva and wash over the teeth. However, these treats can also sometimes cause more immediate emergencies. Chewing on hard candy can cause teeth to crack; if that happens, you’ll need to call your family dentist in Hampton immediately.
3. Sour Candy
Sour foods tend to be very acidic; they can weaken your enamel and increase the chance of decay. As such, sour candy tends to be particularly harmful to oral health since they also contain sugar. If your child does indulge in some sour treats, make sure they wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Any sooner and they risk accidentally spreading the acid onto more tooth surfaces.
What are the Best Candies for Your Teeth?
It’s important to remember that some treats will be better for your child’s teeth than others. Examples include:
- Sugar-Free Hard Candies: Lollipops and other hard candies can actually be good for the teeth if they don’t contain sugar. They increase saliva levels in the mouth, helping to rinse bacteria and sugar off the enamel.
- Sugar-Free Gum: Chewing on some sugarless gum also boosts saliva production, and it can even dislodge stuck food particles.
- Dark Chocolate: Of all sugary snacks, dark chocolate may be the least harmful. That’s because it can be washed off the teeth relatively easily.
Talk to your family dentist in Hampton before making a plan to avoid cavities and other emergencies this Halloween. A few treats enjoyed sparingly are all right, but you’ll need to exercise caution if you want help your children to avoid a worst-case scenario.
About the Author
Dr. Harbpinder Shevchenko has been practicing for over a decade now and loves helping patients of all ages keep their smiles beautiful and healthy. At her practice in Hampton, Smiles by the Sea, she always strive to see emergency patients as quickly as possible. To schedule a Halloween appointment for your child, visit her website or call (603) 926-8827.