Miami and Coral Gables, FL
Many parents are well aware of the effects of their child eating too much sugar. It’s no surprise that sugar leads to tooth decay. With Halloween just around the corner, what is a parent to do? Should you let your child indulge in their bucket of candy? Is a little or a lot better for them? Your Miami family dentists at Miami Designer Smiles would like you to know which Halloween treats are better for your child’s teeth, and which ones are the worst. Do with this information as you wish, but we think it’s not so bad to let them enjoy candy from time to time. Remember, it’s the frequency and length of time their teeth are subjected to sugar that can be the problem.
Best – Dark Chocolate
Chocolate melts in the mouth quickly, plus dark chocolate actually provides some health benefits. It also can be just enough to stave off any sugar cravings. So, M&M’s, or fun-sized pure dark chocolate bites are not too bad for your child’s teeth.
Better – Sugar-Free Candy
Take the sugar out of any candy, and you have much less risk of tooth decay. Sugar-free usually contains xylitol, which has anti-cavity benefits but tastes just as sweet as actual sugar-laden candy.
Good – Quick Dissolving Candy
Candy that can dissolve in the mouth quickly such as Smarties is a good choice for your child because they aren’t exposing their teeth to sugar for very long. The idea is that candies that can be eaten quickly, without bathing their teeth in sugar for a prolonged period, are much better for their teeth.
Bad – Suckers or Hard Candy
The longer your child’s teeth are exposed to sugar, the more likely damage is to occur to their teeth. Believe it or not, but suckers and hard candy can take quite a while to dissolve, which means your child’s teeth are being bathed in sugar for an extended period.
Worst – Gummy or Sticky Candy
Gummy bears, taffy, and other types of chewy candies are not so good for teeth because they stick in the tiny grooves of your teeth, and can linger there for hours! Plus, a double whammy is the sour gummy candies, which contain a high level of acids that compound the risk of cavities.
Now, Halloween comes just once a year, and we know how children grow out of trick-or-treating too quickly. We believe it is each parent’s choice on how much candy they allow or don’t allow their child to consume, but we think it’s not too bad if they only get this indulgence once a year or every once in a while. Just be sure that after they eat their candy at Halloween, and throughout the year as well, that your child practices good oral hygiene habits that include brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Routine dental visits also are an important factor in maintaining good oral health and reducing your child’s chance for cavities.
What to hand out instead
If you would like to avoid handing out sweet treats regardless, opt for non-edible items such as pencils, erasers, temporary tattoos, or even bottles of water. Many children these days suffer from severe allergies to certain types of food and candies, and non-edible treats are something that can be enjoyed by everyone, even those with severe allergies.
Miami General Dentists
If you would like to learn more about ways to protect your child’s teeth, please call Miami Designer Smiles at (305) 595-4616 to schedule a consultation.
Miami Designer Smiles is proud to provide care for patients in the South Florida communities of Miami and Coral Gables.