SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ CA
Halloween is a favorite time of year when oral health is often forgotten. Buckets and bags of candy can be strong temptations and have you mindlessly rifling through to find your favorite treat. But can Halloween candy damage your teeth? Our Santa Cruz family dentists at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry share details about the effects of Halloween candy on your oral health and how you can protect your smile.
According to Steve Mitchell, DMD, director of the Sparks Dental Clinic at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry, “The good news is that one night of candy and celebration will not cause a child to have cavities, so we really encourage parents and their children to just have fun. The problem with Halloween candy arises when it continues to get eaten for weeks following Halloween. On November first, the Halloween ‘stash’ needs to be thrown out or at least controlled by an adult, so only one piece of candy gets eaten each day.”
Allowing your child to have fun on Halloween night and consume a lot of candy won’t cause extensive damage. But there are some Halloween treats and sweets that are worse for your oral health than others. For example, chewy, sticky, or sour candies can remain in tooth crevices for a long time and cause extensive damage to your smile. Also, sucking on hard candies like lollipops and jolly ranchers inundates your teeth and gums with sugar for a long time. As the sugar surrounds your teeth, bacteria are hard at work consuming the sugar and secreting acids that damage your tooth enamel. On the other hand, our Los Gatos family dentists explain that chocolate, especially dark chocolate, is one of the best Halloween treats to eat. Since chocolate melts easily, your saliva can rinse it quickly from your teeth and gums. Therefore, your mouth is exposed to less sugar, which reduces bacteria activity.
Typically, tooth decay is the result of consistent exposure to sugar over a long period, paired with poor brushing habits. So, a single night of indulging in Halloween candy won’t be your or your child’s oral health demise. However, if your child continues to eat sweet treats multiple times a day over a long period, it could cause extensive dental damage. Our family dentists in Scotts Valley explain that regardless of how often you or your child consumes candy, establishing good oral hygiene practices at home and regularly visiting your dentist for checkups and cleanings are crucial to protect your smile.
Family Dentist in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California
Consuming candy in moderation is not bad for your oral health, so enjoy the holiday celebration! However, when the celebration is over, it’s crucial to continue your oral health routine of brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and visiting our Scotts Valley dental office for checkups and cleanings twice a year. Feel free to contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry to schedule a preventive care appointment. Please call our office at (831) 438-4411 or contact us online today.