Hendricks County parents: It’s almost time for your little ghosts, witches, superheroes and princesses to knock on doors and ask for tricks or treats. But did you know that the average trick-or-treat bucket can hold about 250-300 pieces of candy? That’s a lot of candy that can potentially cause tooth decay in your child’s teeth.
When your child eats candy, the bacteria in their mouth feast on the sugar in the candy, turning it into acid. This acid sticks to your child’s teeth, eating away the enamel and creating cavities. Halloween is one time of the year when kids typically eat more candy than normal, so the potential for tooth decay is greater.
But not all candy is the same, some candies can actually increase your child’s risk of tooth decay and cause more damage to the enamel of their teeth than others. Some of the worse candies that your Hendricks County child can eat, include:
- Sour candies. Candies, like Sour Patch Kids, Warheads, and Sweet Tarts, contain high amounts of citric, fumaric and malic acids that break down the enamel on your child’s teeth, making it easier for cavities to form.
- Gummy or sticky candies. Candies, like Gummy Worms, taffies, caramels or candies filled with coconut, peanut butter, nuts or dried fruit, can stick to the teeth or get stuck in the crevices of the teeth, giving bacteria a feast for a longer time period.
- Hard candies. Typically, kids suck on candies, like Jolly Ranchers, jawbreakers and lollipops, for a longer amount of time, so it takes longer for the candy to dissolve. The sugar causes acids to continually form and bath your child’s teeth during the entire time they’re sucking on the candy, leading to enamel erosion and possible cavities. Also your child can damage the enamel on their teeth when they chomp and chew on hard candies.
Dr. Jon Erickson at Danville Family Dentistry, located in Hendricks County, realizes Halloween is a fun holiday for kids and isn’t saying kids shouldn’t enjoy it. But as a parent, there are some things you can do to help protect your child from getting cavities. These things include:
- Limiting the amount of candy your child eats each day.
- Encouraging your child to brush their teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, especially after eating candy, and to floss daily.
- Scheduling regular dental checkups and cleanings with Dr. Erickson to ensure your child’s teeth stay healthy. Call us at 317-745-4400 to schedule your child’s appointment today, so they don’t end up looking like a toothless Jack O’Lantern.