SMILING STARS DAYCARE BLOG
There's no reason to be spooked. Many dentists believe it is okay to let kids indulge themselves in candy this Halloween.
The reality is that if you're going to eat candy, gorging is far better for your teeth than rationing. As far as oral hygiene goes, it is better to eat many candy bars at once than to eat one every few hours. In the first situation, acid will build up in your mouth, but your saliva will naturally neutralize this acid over the course of an hour or so. In the second scenario, you are constantly exposing your teeth to acid throughout the day, resulting in too much acid for the saliva to wash away.
Slowly snacking on candy, chocolate and sugary snacks every few hours, day after day, keeps your teeth bathed in enamel-corroding acid, the by-product of bacteria feeding on sugar and other carbohydrates in your mouth. This leads to dental caries, or cavities.
Gorging is also better because it is more likely to be followed by tooth brushing. People, especially children, are less likely to brush their teeth after every candy bar, particularly if they aren't at home.
General Tips: Oral Health & Halloween
As a general rule, make sure you feed your children a meal before going trick-or-treating. This way, they will not crave treats as much. Make your kids count their treats and divide them into a few portions for everyday use as dessert after dinner. Do not let them have treats right after arriving home when they are hungry, or at school when they cannot keep their teeth clean.
Potato chips and pretzels are worse offenders than chocolate, because these cooked carbohydrates cling to your teeth and give mouth bacteria something to feast on longer. The worst thing for your teeth is stickiness and acidity that generates even more acid. These are normally the factors that really lead to cavities.
It is helpful to know that among candy, the sticky and sour kinds are the worst two types for your teeth. Sour candy tends to have more acid, so sour-tasting gummies are a double whammy. Also, those gummies that stay stuck in the molars till Thanksgiving are nothing but trouble!
Oral health is nothing to ignore, because tooth decay and gum disease are major public health problems. Stemming from inflammation and subsequent infections, tooth decay and gum disease are associated with poor digestion, heart attacks, strokes and cancers.
If you think candy is the only unhealthy element of Halloween, you need to consider this: Halloween is one of the top three major nights, along with New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day, for dangerous binge drinking, according to an article published last year in the Journal of American College Health.
Happy Halloween to all.