Halloween is a celebration of all things scary. But one of the scariest things about the holiday is how sugary the trick or treat candy is and how it can affect children’s teeth. Here are some healthy alternatives to sugary Halloween treats.
How sugar affects children’s teeth
When children eat sugar, the bacteria in their mouths feed off the sugar and produce acid. This acid is so powerful it can dissolve tooth enamel and tissue causing cavities. Cavities are holes in the teeth. Once these cavities form, bacteria and food debris has a place to hide and grow, which causes further damage to the teeth and gums.
The worst sugary Halloween treats for kids
As a parent, you might decide to allow your children a little bit of candy. If you do, avoid these as they are among the worst treats for teeth:
Gummy worms-these are super acidic. Acid wears down the teeth’s protective enamel which weakens them and leaves them prone to sensitivity.
Sticky candy- sticky candy sticks to your teeth and if it gets lodged in between teeth, especially in the hard to reach back teeth, it can increase the chance of tooth decay.
Hard candy lollipops- if you eat some candy, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth 30 minutes later. It’s far less damaging to your teeth than sucking on a lollipop for long periods of time.
Healthy alternatives to sugary Halloween treats
We should make it clear that we mean fresh fruit here. Dried fruit is sticky and high in natural sugars which can wear away tooth enamel. A far better choice is making up snack packs of fruits like grapes and apples.
Top tip: You don’t have to give children sweet treats!
Yes, you can give the trick or treaters who knock on your door treats other than candy! Fun, novelty items like bubble wands, glow sticks, coloured pencils, or Halloween themed things like vampire fangs or spider rings are different and they’ll go down a treat.
Extra tips to protect your children’s teeth at Halloween
So you’ve got some ideas for alternatives to sugary Halloween treats. Here are some extra tips to helps your children’s teeth stay healthy.
- Eat before they trick or treat-even if they do have a bit of candy afterwards, there will be more saliva in their mouth after eating which will protect the teeth.
- After they eat candy, encourage them to drink some chilled water which will help neutralise the acids in their mouths.
- Make sure they don’t brush their teeth straight after eating candy. Acids in candy can weaken the tooth enamel for a short while, so they should wait at least 30 minutes before brushing.
So there you have it, plenty of alternatives to sugary Halloween treats. Halloween may be scary, but it doesn’t have to be scary for teeth.
For more articles on oral health and the products you need for a bright and healthy smile, check out the rest of our blog.