Halloween is one of our favourite times of the year! We have some tips to help your child have a tooth-friendly Halloween.
Choose the Right Treat
Worst Treats: Sticky jellies, gummies, caramels and sour candies are the worst as they get stuck in the grooves and pits of the teeth. They are very difficult to clean off the teeth. Sour candies have a high acidity content which breaks down tooth enamel.
Better Treats: Milk chocolate, pretzels or crackers. They are not as sticky and do not have a high acidity content. Chocolate melts fast in the mouth, limiting the sugar exposure to teeth.
Best Treats: Dark chocolate and sugar free xylitol gum and candy. Some studies show that antioxidants in dark chocolate can prevent gum disease and battle tooth decay. Xylitol is a healthy sugar that actually fights cavity causing bacteria. You can find these from Wholefoods or other health organic stores. Read more about it here.
If you are giving out treats this Halloween, you can also offer non-food alternatives. Temporary tattoos, stickers, little toys and glow sticks are kids favourites. It would give options to kids who have food allergies or parents who would like to limit sugar.
Feed Your Child
Make sure your child is well-fed before going trick or treating to prevent binge eating on candy and chocolate.
Rinse with Water
Take a water bottle with you and encourage your child to drink after having candy to rinse sugar and acidity off the teeth.
Good brushing and flossing will be very important this time of the year! Make sure your child goes to bed with clean teeth.
Happy Trick or Treating!
Dr. Ella Choi is a certified specialist in pediatric dentistry serving Surrey, White Rock, Delta and Langley in Beautiful British Columbia.