When your child eats or drinks sugary foods, the germs (bacteria) in the mouth mix with the sugars to make a mild acid. This acid attacks the hard outer layer of the tooth (also called enamel) and can make holes (or cavities) on the surface of the tooth. The damage that sugar does depends on how much sugar goes into the mouth and how long it stays in the mouth.
Here are four ways to “treat” your child’s teeth well and prevent cavities after Halloween:
- Limit the number of times a day your children eats Halloween treats.
- Do not give your child Halloween treats unless they can immediately brush and floss afterwards.
- Avoid Halloween treats that stay in the mouth for a long time such as gum, suckers (or lollipops) and other hard candy.
- Avoid soft, sticky sweets that get stuck in the mouth such as toffee, raisins and rolled-up fruit snacks.
Healthy Treats Suggestions
- Surgarless Gum
- Stickers and sticker books
- Miniature flashlights
- Fun jewelry (bracelets)
- Temporary tattoos
Tips for Trick-or-Treaters with Braces
In general, orthodontic patients should look for foods that are soft and easy to chew.
- Soft, melt-in-your-mouth chocolates
- Peanut butter cups
- Milk shakes
- Peeled, thinly sliced apples
- Ice cream
TREATS TO AVOID
In general, orthodontic patients should avoid treats that are sticky, hard, chewy or crunchy.
- Nuts (including candies that contain nuts)
- Licorice, jelly beans or taffy
- Hard pretzels
- Candy corn
- Popcorn (including unpopped kernels)
- Taco chips