Halloween is undoubtedly one of the scariest times of year for teeth. Thanks to trick-or-treating and spooky parties, many children (and adults) indulge in candy more often than usual in October.
Sticky sweets are some of the worst cavity-causing culprits because saliva and ordinary drinking don’t easily wash away their residue. Hard candies and other sweets that dissolve slowly in the mouth are also no-nos: the longer sugar is present in mouths, the longer teeth are exposed to acid.
A good compromise is to let your kids keep some candy – chocolate is a good bargaining chip –but donate some of the worst offenders, such as gummy and hard candies. Limiting candy intake to a piece or two per day is also a good practice.
To make sure caramel, taffy and other clingy substances don’t set up shop in the crevices of otherwise healthy teeth, try to brush after eating sweets. You can also reach for some gum to help stave off decay. Although it may seem strange to pop even more chewy stuff after a candy bender, sugar-free gum containing xylitol actually helps prevent cavities by fighting acids from sugary foods and stimulating the flow of saliva.