Happy Halloween!

west seattle dentist

Its Halloween and here at your West Seattle dentist’s office we wanted to navigate you through this holiday (hopefully!) cavity free!  Like I mentioned in my Halloween post last year, Americans buy an estimated 600 million pounds of candy for this holiday!  Woo-wee!  That’s a lot of candy floating around out there.  Below are some tips that you can take into consideration when scrounging in your child’s bag while watching your child divide their candy into the “eat first” and “eat when the good stuff is gone” piles.

Not all candy is created equal!

  • Avoid: Taffy, caramels, gummy bears; anything that is sticky, chewy or sour
    • Sticky: as in it sticks to the teeth, allowing sugar to be in contact with the teeth longer
    • Sour: High acid content in this kind of candy can erode tooth enamel

What’s the best kind of candy to give out from a dentist’s point of view?

Any candy that’s small-and preferably not on the “avoid” list.  Think Chocolate!  Melts in the mouth and disappears quickly.

What type of treat is a dentist’s worst nightmare?

We are most concerned about the type of sugar. Sticky and long-lasting candy, like caramels or suckers, are going to linger on your teeth after finishing them and be a problem. The stickier the candy and the longer the candy remains in the mouth, the worse it is.

What’s the best kind of candy to give out?

  • Chocolate! Chocolate clears out of the mouth quickly. (Not chocolate with caramel…)
  • Non-chocolate option: Small packs of sugar-free gum!

Other good tips:

  • The average child receives 90 pieces of  candy on Halloween. Limit the # of pieces and times of day your children can enjoy some of their candy.
  • When you offer candy, do it after a meal time.  The increased flow of saliva in the mouth will help wash the candy away faster
  • Encourage lots of water consumption to help flush sugar out of the mouth
  • Offer sugarless gum or gum containing xylitol after candy consumption.  The increased saliva production will help flush sugar out and the gum will get out the sticky bits.
  • Give the office a call to see if your family is due for a 6 month check up!
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