It’s that time of year again! With Halloween right around the corner, dentists everywhere are keeping a wary eye out for the influx of new patients with cavities. Avoid having your child be a part of that crowd this Halloween by choosing some tooth-friendly Halloween treats!
Why does eating candy increase the likelihood of developing cavities? Dental caries, or cavities, are caused by a breakdown of tooth enamel, the tough white outer layer of teeth. Bacteria which live in and around teeth will produce acidic byproducts when they digest sugar, which can speed up the breakdown of enamel and lead to a higher chance of cavities. As a result, more bacteria in your mouth means more potential cavities, and nothing tells bacteria to multiply faster than their favourite food. Sugar, or glucose, is easy to digest and irresistible to mouth bacteria, encouraging their growth and the production of those acidic byproducts.
Foods with high sugar content, such as candy, contribute to the development of cavities by encouraging the growth of harmful bacteria. The best way to avoid this would be to avoid the excess candy altogether, but your child might not be too pleased if you suggest they stay out of trick or treating this year. However, there is some good news. The extent of this effect can be lessened by choosing candies that pass through the mouth quickly and contain lower amounts of sugar.
Toffee, caramel, and other sticky kinds of treats are probably the biggest culprit and should be avoided, as they hang onto tooth surfaces for a long time and are difficult to brush off. Chocolate and nuts are good alternatives that still offer satisfaction for your sweet tooth. Dried fruits and sugar-free gum are other good options, and come with the added benefit of requiring some chewing, which can help scrub off some dental plaque.
Halloween is a fun and exciting time for children, but make sure that you’re helping them make healthy choices when it comes to their oral hygiene. As with all things in life, everything in moderation! If despite your best efforts your child still ends up with a cavity, then we’re here to help. Give Centennial Smiles a call at (587) 317‑7959 today!