With Halloween almost here, many kids (and some parents!) do not consider the dental impact to the candy or treats binging that will go on on around Halloween time. Those treats don't just take a toll on your waistline, they can also create damage to your dental health. These sweets can put your teeth at an increased risk very fast if proper oral hygiene is not maintained. This is not to say you and your children should not enjoy Halloween but there needs to be some consideration to maintaining your dental health during Halloween time.
Worst Halloween Treats for your Dental health
1. Gummy Bears or fruit gummies. Not only are gummy bears a candy that is sticky and tends to linger in the mouth, it is made up of 100% pure sugar. A single serving of gummy bears contains about 30 grams of sugar. This equals to about 8 teaspoons of pure sugar sticking to your teeth and in between them. Worse are sour gummies wish also have a high amount of acid added for their sour flavor. Dental tip: Avoid gummies at Halloween and the rest of the year as well.
2. Starburst Chews. This treat is taffy-like and has about 22 grams of sugar per serving (approximately 9 pieces). Starburst candy is another sticky candy that will stick to your teeth and linger for awhile unless removed. The sugar will be fed on by the bacteria in the mouth which in turn produce the acids that cause tooth decay.
3. Tootsie Rolls. Another old time Halloween treat with a high sugar count, tootsie rolls are so sticky that the candy can pull out dental work like a porcelain crown or dental bonding just by biting into them. Tootsie rolls, like all sticky candies, get stuck in between teeth which prolongs the exposure to sugar in your mouth. This increases your risk of tooth decay.
4. Gobstoppers and Jaw Breakers. Gobstoppers claim to fame on this list is not from its sugar content. While still quite high at 14 grams of sugar per serving, gobstoppers are bad because they take so long to eat, and most people bite into them to crack them as they get smaller. This leaves your teeth exposed to the sugar content longer than the other candies on the list, and makes it very easy to fracture a tooth or teeth.
5. Blow Pops. The effect these have on your teeth is very similar to the Gobstoppers. They are in your mouth for a very long time and then you get a sugary gum to chew on the inside, these are also bitten into, but usually with front teeth. Double whammy!
Dental Hygiene Tips
to Avoid Halloween Tooth Decay
We all know Halloween candy will be eaten (and enjoyed) and it is a time to enjoy that freedom. But everything must come in moderation. If you choose to indulge in the treats for Halloween, please follow these simple steps to maintain your dental hygiene
1. Rinse with water immediately following eating Halloween candy
right after eating Halloween sweets.
3. Eat your allowed portion of candy once per day, perhaps after dinner, and be sure to follow proper oral hygiene after. Eating candy a little bit at a time all day, is much worse because, it keeps sugar and acid levels high all day long, giving bacteria ample ability to break down teeth.
4. Don't bite hard candy, allow it to soften in your mouth. Lollipops and hard candies don't need to be finished, they can be re wrapped and saved for tomorrow.
Halloween can be fun for the whole family just follow the steps outlined above for a safe and fun Halloween!
By Marielaina Perrone DDS
Cosmetic Dentist Henderson Nevada
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