Ah, October! Spooky season is indeed upon us, and that means one thing to many little kids: Halloween candy. Going trick-or-treating is a time-honored tradition for most children, but it’s important as a parent to look out for their oral health during this sugar-heavy time.
At Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Leesburg, Virginia, we want all of our patients to have good oral health year-round. That’s why our providers — Haidy Messih, DDS and Basma Armanious, DMD — have put together a list of the best and worst Halloween treats for your teeth.
Maybe you’re thinking, “Yes, Halloween is a sugary holiday, but it’s just one day. Why should I be worried?” Well, whether it’s your kids’ oral health or your own, you should definitely pay attention to the treat intake during this time.
For one, people tend not to pay attention to what — and how much — candy they’re eating on Halloween. For another, it’s usually the kickoff holiday to a number of other days that involve eating a lot of carbs and sugar, including Thanksgiving and winter holidays like Christmas and Haunukah.
Finally, it’s important to note that one night of Halloween indulgence won’t rot anyone’s teeth. But, it’s always a good idea to create and maintain good health habits all throughout the year, especially when you’re young.
Keep in mind that we want you to have a good time, and having Halloween candy is part of the holiday fun. So we want to share with you some indulgences that we wouldn’t worry about as much this Halloween.
Chocolate actually isn’t as bad as most Halloween candies, because it’s easier to clean from your teeth than other treats. There are also plenty of sugar-free candies that taste just as sweet as those with lots of sugar. Consider sticking to these options when you’re looking through your child’s Halloween haul.
Furthermore, candy isn’t the only type of treat available for a seasonal fix. Certain fruits — such as figs, apples, and pomegranates — can be fun and festive to eat around Halloween. Also, nuts can provide a fun alternative. If you still need your sugar fix, consider chocolate-covered almonds or raisins. Bonus points go to those who pick dark chocolate, as it has less sugar.
Now, we know sugar is bad for our teeth, but moderation is usually a safe bet. Still, there are some Halloween goodies we’d advise you to steer clear of whenever possible.
Popcorn is a problem, as the kernels can lodge themselves in your teeth and cause problems for your gums. So, before you sit down with a horror movie and a big bowl of popcorn, ask yourself if you’re prepared to get out the floss after the credits.
Another no-no is any candy that is especially sticky, which can lodge itself on or between your teeth and be difficult to remove with a simple brushing. Sour candies are problematic, too, but for a different reason. Their tart coating can be destructive to the enamel on your teeth.
Last but not least, we highly recommend avoiding hard sweets, such as lollipops, sucking candies, and especially jawbreakers, which can cause teeth to get chipped and damaged.
No matter what, the most important thing is to have fun and maintain a healthy mouth while doing so. If you follow our guide, you can do both and avoid any oral health scares after the holiday.
For all of your dental care needs, call 703-952-7332 or book an appointment online with Loudoun Family and Cosmetic Dentistry today.