Children's Health

Avoiding Halloween Candy Overload

Ah, Halloween, the festival of costumes  – and candy. Most people have fond childhood memories of traipsing through neighborhood streets and coming home with as much candy as they could eat, and a lot more than they should have consumed.

But the holiday looks very different from a parent’s point of view. They’re concerned about the effect of too much sugar on their child’s teeth, but it seems impossible to stem the tide of treats.

There is hope, though – these tips should help kids have most have a fun Halloween without ending up in the dentist’s chair:

*Bring a water bottle for the kids – drinking water between eating candy can help wash away the sugar that is building up on their teeth and may make them feel fuller.


*Feed them first – make sure the kids eat before they go out so that they aren’t snacking on more candy than they should.

*When they do get home, make sure the kids have a small portion of candy – and put the rest away until tomorrow.

*Brush and floss after eating the candy – of all nights of the year that kids should brush their teeth, Halloween is number 1 on the list. Decay is the process of bacteria living on the teeth, metabolizing these sugars easily and producing a level of acid that can break down the tooth structure. The offending bacteria and the food source have to stay on the tooth surface for a long amount of time, which iss why it’s important to brush and floss as soon as possible after eating candy.

It also helps to recognize the different kinds of damage candy can do, so you can, hopefully, steer kids clear of it. Candy that melts and disappears quickly is better because the sugar on some candy can produce cavity-causing acid. Chewy treats and hard candy are damaging to teeth because they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth. Dark chocolate has less sugar than milk chocolate. Sugar-free candy is also an option.

Happy Halloween!

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