Halloween = candy, candy and more candy. And that’s really just the start of the season, because then comes Christmas and Valentines and Easter…and then we get a break again…until Halloween and the cycle begins again!
When I was a kid I had a friend whose father was a dentist. We knew every year that when we trick-or-treated at her door that we’d get a toothbrush in our bag!
As a parent does the excess candy after Halloween concern you in relation to your child’s oral health?
I was able to ask a number of questions of Dr. Jennifer Salzer, a dentist, orthodontist and mother of four about candy and oral health and here is what she had to say on the topics I asked.
Tammy: Can kids eat Halloween candy & have healthy teeth?
Dr. Salzer: Kids can eat Halloween candy as long as they don’t overdo it. It’s key to make sure they don’t snack on it over a long period of time. It’s better to let them eat whatever pieces they select and then get busy brushing! When brushing, it’s important children two and up use a fluoridated toothpaste to help prevent decay as their teeth continue to develop. My favorite toothpaste picks are Oral-B Stages for kids 2-7 and Crest Pro-Health FOR ME for tweens 8 and up.
Tammy: Can candy wreck sealants if a child has them on their teeth?
Dr. Salzer: Sealants can be somewhat abraded by very hard or very sticky candy. For the most part, the sealants will fare well if the teeth are brushed carefully and properly after having candy.
Tammy: Is gum a hazard to the teeth, not just for sugar (obviously sugar-free would be better) but also because of the constant jaw action of chewing it?
Dr. Salzer: It depends on who is doing the chewing and how often. People predisposed to TMJ (jaw joint) problems are advised not to chew for long periods of time as this could aggravate the conditions. However, for most people, chewing gum is harmless and can even help keep the teeth clean by removing debris after meals.
Tammy: Are there any candies or types of candy that are far worse for teeth than others?
Dr. Salzer: Most people think that sticky candies are the worst, since they stay stuck to the teeth. It has been discovered, however, that cake, cookies and crackers can be just as harmful since they are not as quickly broken down by the saliva and can remain in contact with the tooth for longer. Therefore, I treat all candies and snacks the same: eat quickly, and brush as soon as possible!
I want to thank Dr. Salzer for taking the time to answer the questions I had, and I hope her answers were helpful to you – I know they were to me!
I received sample products however all reviews and opinions are mine and are not influenced by receipt of product. Others may have a different experience.
Posted by Tammy Litke