We know you want to keep your child’s smile bright and strong! Many of our patients’ parents wonder, does Halloween candy hurt your child’s teeth? Here’s what you need to know to keep your child’s teeth healthy throughout the holiday and beyond.
Halloween Candy and Your Child’s Teeth
Let’s start by answering the question, “Does Halloween candy hurt your child’s teeth?” The simple answer is: Yes — it can. This is because of the high sugar content in many candies.
When sugar comes into contact with your saliva, it feeds the naturally-occurring bacteria, which in turn produces an acid. Over time, the resulting acid can erode your dental enamel (the outer layer of your teeth), causing small holes or cavities to form.
That’s why limiting sugar intake, not just from candy, is an important way to help your child avoid cavities.
Sugar-Free for the Win!
Now that you know the answer to the question, “Does Halloween candy hurt your child’s teeth?” what can you do about it?
The great news is that there are many varieties of sugar-free candies that use alternative sweeteners and are just as delicious as their sugar-containing counterparts. Candies that use xylitol as their sweetener can be especially helpful, because unlike sugar, xylitol has been shown to actually benefit your dental health over time by making the environment of your mouth less likely to produce cavities.
Halloween Candy Alternatives
Another way to help your child avoid cavities from Halloween candy is by choosing candy alternatives. Kids love getting spooky Halloween stickers, small toys, games, masks, and other prizes — especially if they are glow-in-the-dark!
Enjoying Candy in Moderation
If your child goes to a Halloween party or is celebrating with friends, it’s normal to want to join in the fun and enjoy some sugary candy along with everyone else. It’s perfectly ok for your child to do that! Just make sure to encourage them to brush their teeth well when they get home and keep drinking water on hand in the meantime to help wash away the sugary residue until they can brush.
Call our Avondale, Gilbert or Mesa dental office, to make an appointment with a dentist who may be able to help you find out more about this topic, and improve your oral health.