Soon, the neighborhoods will be filled with young ghosts and goblins who’ll be out and about collecting all types of sweet and sugary Halloween treats. While our Burien and West Seattle orthodontist enjoys all the fun that Halloween brings, he’d like to remind all of our parents that consuming too much sugar is not good for your kids’ teeth.
How Sugar Harms Teeth
Sugar is a major cause of tooth decay and cavities. The naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar in candy and other foods and turns it into harmful acid. This acid attacks the protective enamel on teeth to raise the risk for decay. When kids eat lots of sticky or chewy candies like caramels and taffy, the sugar is in contact with the teeth for longer periods of time. This allows the bacteria more time to feed on the sugar to produce acid that leads to cavities.
Once a cavity develops, it’s very important to seek dental treatment before the decay does any more damage. Teeth that are badly decayed may need to be removed, which is something nobody wants! So what are parents supposed to do? Cancel their kids’ Halloween plans so they can’t collect lots of sweet treats that are harmful to eat? Of course not! Here are a few tips that can help protect your kids’ mouths this Halloween.
Ways to Limit the Effect of Sugar on Teeth
- Fill your kids up with a good meal prior to trick-or-tricking so they’re less tempted to fill up on candy.
- Encourage your kids to eat a small amount of candy in one sitting, followed by a glass of water or a thorough tooth brushing.
- Pass out candy at parties that can be eaten quickly and easily to limit the amount of time sugar is in contact with the teeth.
- Remind your kids to brush and floss well before bedtime to remove tiny pieces of Halloween candy that’s trapped between teeth. It’s especially important for kids wearing braces to brush and floss well as there are lots of places candy and bacteria can hide in and around all those brackets and wires on teeth!
Happy Halloween from Your Burien & West Seattle Orthodontist!
Dr. Peralta and his team would like to wish everyone a happy Halloween! For those of you who’ll be going trick-or-treating, be safe out there and don’t let all that candy play ghastly tricks on your teeth! Be sure to do a great job with your toothbrush and floss!