Perhaps the most enticing thing about Halloween is the free candy. If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve rifled through your children’s trick-or-treating haul or gained control of it in its entirety. We can’t forget the beloved reject pile. All the candy your child dislikes instantly becomes yours. There’s just something so satisfying knowing that your kid doesn’t appreciate the joy of biting into a peanut butter cup. Despite the thrill of it all, the harsh reality remains: eating candy in large quantities is really bad for your teeth.
Too Many Tricks In Your Treats
Sugar is the main ingredient in candy and is oral health’s sworn enemy. Bacteria – both the good and bad kind – live inside the mouth.
The bad bacteria feed on the sugar, leaving behind acids that cause infections in the tooth’s enamel, or outermost layer. This results in the common cavity.
There’s no denying that taffy, lollipops, and sour candies are delicious. However, these are the worst kinds of candies for our teeth. Sticky candies like taffy and caramel can nestle away in the beds of our enamel for prolonged periods of time, creating excess exposure to sugar. The longer the exposure, the higher chance a cavity will develop. The stickiness can also strip away fillings. Hard candies like lollipops carry the same burden of prolonged exposure. Additionally, hard candies can break or chip teeth when we bite into them.
Although less common during the Halloween season, sour candies are even more harmful. Not only are they acidic, but they’re coated in sugar. Acid consumption erodes the tooth’s enamel, which can lead to breakage and cavities.
It takes some will power to not fly off the rails with excess sugar consumption, especially when we’ve stashed away our children’s Halloween candy for “safe keeping.”
When it comes to excessive sugar consumption, children are arguably a more vulnerable population, though adults are not exempt from experiencing complications either. Eating too much Halloween candy can lead to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and of course, cavities.
Maintaining a regimen of dental exams, dental cleanings, and primary care visits can help keep you and your child on track to living a healthy lifestyle.
If you choose to consume candy in small or large quantities (we certainly hope it’s not the latter), we recommend eating it with a well-balanced meal. Doing so can help absorb or wash away some of the sugar.
Additionally, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth twice per day. We prefer to see our patients use fluoride toothpaste and a sonic toothbrush. If traditional floss is too harsh on the gums, a water flosser will suffice. Rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash.
As dentists, we recommend coming in for a dental exam and cleaning every six months.
Decay usually doesn’t occur right away. However, the overconsumption of sugar combined with the lack of proper precautionary measures greatly increases the risk.
We’re Here For You
Without a doubt, a tasty treat is enough to make anyone swoon. Should problems arise after indulging, we’ve got your back.
If you or your child are experiencing tooth sensitivity – particularly with hot and cold temperatures – you could have a cavity. To schedule a dental exam, give us a call at (440) 888-6449 or send us an appointment request. One of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly.