As one of our favorite times of the year comes around the corner, it means spooky skeletons, jack-o-lanterns, and the infamous Halloween candy. For most children, this means building up a stockpile of sweets at the end of the night and gorging in on those tasty snacks. However, their teeth won’t like that in the long run and create cavities. As one of the most chronic diseases faced by children each year, cavities can become a huge problem when left untreated, impacting children’s schoolwork and cause painful infections that worsen their oral health.
Even while this holiday celebrates the sugary goodness of chocolates and candies, the good news is that cavities are preventable, even during Halloween.
How Cavities Develop From Those Sugary Snacks
Sugar also called sucrose plays a major role in the development of cavities. Our mouths contain hundreds of strains of bacteria that work as an oral microbiome. This microbiome contains both good strains and bad strains, with some strains working to combat harmful bacteria while others work to cause decay and disease. The harmful strains of bacteria often feed on sugars and carbohydrates, creating acids as a waste product that gradually dissolves the enamel layer of our teeth.
While children typically become less affected by cavities, any children who get cavities will often experience an increase in the level of cavities they experience throughout their lifetime. Halloween is often the biggest perpetrator for the increase in cavities and dental visits for children due to the excessive amounts of sugars contained in the foods they eat over time. However, you can help have a cavity-free Halloween by changing your routines and creating a more positive impacting
Some of the candies given out to children are the worst, especially if they contain sour elements, excessive amounts of syrups and caramels, and have that chewy, sticky texture that sticks to the crevices of the teeth. Some alternatives for this Halloween can include:
- Sugar Free Lollipops
- Granola Bars
- Oranges and Apples
- Sugar Free Gums
- Trail Mix/Chex Mix
- Sugar Free Hard Candies
- Dark Chocolates
Another way you can help prevent cavities is by giving trick or treat’ers noncandy items, including stuffed animals, whistles, finger puppets, stickers, and colorful pens. Replacing your candy items with unusual Halloween themed items can be an excellent way to prevent cavities. However, one of the best ways to truly prevent the onset of cavities this Halloween is to make sure your children practice their brushing and flossing, and maybe think about scheduling that annual visit to their dentist for a checkup.
If your child ends up getting a cavity, do not worry. Your dentist will lost likely be able to help them with dental sealants and fluoride treatments to strengthen their enamel and keep cavities at bay. Caring for your child’s dental health is the best way to prevent the onset of serious oral diseases, and by doing so, your child will have a better smile that’s both healthy and beautiful.