Halloween Candy…Cruel Trick or Special Treat

Calgary DentistIt’s that time of year your little ghost and goblin have been waiting for. The costumes are fun, but the candy is great – or is it?

Calgary Dentist, Dr. Andy Hoe of Bite Dental in South West Calgary, shares some tips on navigating through the piles of Halloween candy and coming out cavity free.

Everyone loves a treat, especially children, but not limiting the intake of sticky, sugary treats, can lead to a trip to the dental office to treat a cavity.  The first step in cavity prevention is limiting intake of sweets.
Constant snacking on sugar means teeth are continuously exposed to acids that erode enamel.  Make sure children brush after a sugary treat (especially at bedtime), or if brushing is not an option, drink plenty of water to rinse teeth.

At Halloween kids are exposed to a variety of candies. These candies fall in to different categories – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
Ugly candy consists of anything that’s in a package that has been opened, homemade treats, treats past the sell buy date and super chewy, gooey, sticky candy (taffy, licorice, caramels). Ugly candy should be thrown out before kids have an opportunity to snack on them.  The longer it takes a child to eat a treat, the more time they’re exposed to sugar, the greater the chance of developing cavities. Super chewy and sticky treats also create problems for kids wearing orthodontic braces as wires become covered in candy remnants and brackets are at risk of breaking.

Bad Candy also has sticky culprits like Gummy Bears and hard candy like Jaw Breakers.  Gummy Bears stick to tooth surfaces and get stuck in grooves.  It’s hard to remove remnants of sticky sweets, especially if rinsing with water is the only option.  Candy like Jaw Breakers just takes way too long to eat, and the sucking of the candy allows sugar to be swished over teeth.

Good Candy (if there is such a thing) is a short list – sugar free gum and chocolate that doesn’t contain any caramel. Chocolate is easily dissolved by water and therefore doesn’t get stuck in grooves or in between teeth. Xylitol, a natural sweetener, is a better option than ‘sugar’ and can be found in some brands of gum and candyXylitol has been shown to fight cavities and may just be a Halloween Super Hero!

Make sure this Halloween doesn’t become too scary.  Call Bite Dental today to schedule your child’s check-up and cleaning 403.201.2483


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