Dr Mary Hayes is a pediatric dentist and spokesperson for the American Dental Association. She raises a few flags about candy for your kids this year. For starters she says that the process of tooth decay can peak within 20 minutes after eating a sugary snack and the results can linger on for hours afterward. As a result it is worth knowing which treats are better and which are not as desirable for your kids this year.
The WORST types of candy for your kid’s teeth are:
1) Hard candy – it’s pure sugar and children tend to keep it in their mouths for a longer period of time.
2) Gummy candy – The soft gel-like material means that it clings to teeth, resulting in a higher risk of tooth decay.
3) Caramel – It is sticky and hard to remove; creating a breeding ground for bacteria.
4) Sour candy – very acidic – in acid the bacteria can work even more efficiently.
and the BEST type of candy is…….CHOCOLATE – because it washes off teeth easier than other types of candy. Dark chocolate is healthier still because there is less sugar in it.
So what do you do if you don’t want to be the zombie parent that stole Halloween? Dr. Hayes recommends a few options if serious candy censorship is NOT an option:
- Brush, brush brush. Get the offending candy off your teeth as soon as possible after consumption.
- Drink water after treats. This will wash away the acid.
- Chew sugarless gum (for older kids) It produces saliva that helps neutralize the acid in the mouth.
- Inspect your childs mouths to see if there are bits of candy stuck to their teeth.
- Supervise brushing for children under 6 because they tend not to do it thoroughly and as a result get a bad start to their oral hygiene.
Oh, and Happy Halloween!