Let’s face the facts, your child is going to go trick or treating this Halloween and they will probably come home with a bucketful of candy. The chances are good that you are already worrying about their teeth and overall oral hygiene after consuming so many tasty sweet treats. You are probably thinking that you should limit their candy consumption to a few pieces throughout the day so they are not binge-eating on sugar. However, recent research appears to indicate that this might not be the best course of action for your child’s long-term dental health.
Eating only a tiny bit of candy every day for days or weeks is worse for your child’s teeth than eating a bunch of candy all at once. This is because consuming a few pieces of candy throughout the day puts your child’s teeth in direct contact with the sugar-laden sweet stuff longer than if they ate a bunch of candy and then promptly brushed their teeth.
Sticky candies, such as taffy, gummy bears, and caramels become lodged between the teeth and along the gumline. Even if your child has only one gummy bear during the day, but fails to brush her teeth after consuming the candy, the sugary substance will remain on your child’s teeth and could ultimately cause more damage than if she had eaten a box of gummy bears and then brushed her teeth.
Sucking on one or two lemon drops or some other sour candy once a day is also far more damaging to your child’s teeth then if he had eaten the whole bag at once. Sour candies raise the acidic level in your child’s mouth which causes long-term tooth enamel damage. Ideally, your child should eat the box of sour candies and then brush/floss his teeth to remove the acidic residue before any enamel damage can take place.
Halloween is a fun time of year, but you will want to remain vigilant that your child quickly consumes his candy and then brushes and flosses his teeth. Don’t let him hoard his candy for days and weeks. Instead, let him indulge quickly and get rid of the sugar-laden candies.