With Halloween upon us, this time of year marks the beginning of a season of sweets, filled with candy and treats. It’s a wonderful time of year but not so much for your children’s teeth. With that in mind, Sun Pediatrics offers some helpful information to keep your children’s teeth clean and healthy during the holiday season.
Sugar and Starch in Moderation
Sugar and starch are not good for teeth, primarily because they feed the plaque and bacteria on your teeth. Candy can especially wreak havoc on the teeth. And since the tooth enamel in toddlers and young children won’t mature for approximately another 10 years, children are especially susceptible to the damage that candy can do to their teeth.
Avoid These Sweets
These sweets are especially harmful the teeth of young children.
- Sticky Candy: As the name implies, sticky candies tend to get stuck in tooth crevices. These candies remain in the teeth longer and is harder for saliva to wash it away. The longer the sugar remains, the longer it can feed the damaging bacteria on the teeth.
- Sour Candy: Sour candies contain a kind of acid that is the worst acid for your teeth. This acid can soften teeth, resulting in enamel erosion. Stay away from sour candies.
- Hard Candy: Because hard candies dissolve slowly, this allows harmful bacteria more time to produce enamel dissolving acids. In addition, some hard candies can actually chip teeth when bitten before they have softened.
But Don’t Be a Scrooge
The holidays can be exciting time of year for you and your kids, so don’t over-react and miss out on all the fun. Here are some alternative sweets that are a bit more accomodating to keeping teeth healthy.
- Chocolate: Yes, chocolate dissolves and rinses quickly in the mouth, which means bacteria has less time to foster harmful acids. Dark chocolate is even better because it has less sugar.
- Sugar-free Lollipops and Gum: Since there is no sugar, harmful bacteria has less to feed on. In addition, saliva is better stimulated, which serves to help rinse the mouth of destructive bacteria.
Final Words on a Season of Sweets
- Drink more water. Water not only helps rinse your mouth, but fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay.
- Always brush twice at least twice a day and floss at least once.
More Questions? Visit Sun Pediatrics
Are you worried about the season of sweets? Need some guidance and advice? Ask Dr. Hari of Sun Pediatrics. Get tips and more on your next visit or check-up.