Treats to avoid this Halloween

treats to avoid this halloweenScotts Valley and Santa Cruz, CA

It may surprise you to learn that, according to a poll conducted by the American Dental Association, 76 percent of the responding dentists said they hand out candy to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Dentists know better than anyone about the dangers of tooth decay, and that eating too much sugar can increase your risk of cavities significantly. The key thing to take away from this tidbit is the importance of balance. You and your family can celebrate Halloween without jeopardizing the oral health of yours and your children by practicing moderation and educating yourself. Your Santa Cruz family dentists Dr. Ariana Ebrahimian and Dr. Max Ebrahimian at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry are here to help. Learn about which treats are safer—and which you should avoid—this Halloween.

Avoid these candies this Halloween

There are two major threats to your oral health from what you eat: sugar and acid. Sugars, if they accumulate on the surfaces of your teeth, fuel the unhealthy oral bacteria that then secrets acid into your mouth. This acid is the building block of tooth decay.

If you eat something chewy or sticky, sugars are more likely to adhere to the surfaces of your teeth. So stay away from these types of treats: chewy and sticky candies such as gummies and taffy. Even dried fruit can be a potential risk because of its stickiness.

Consuming high levels of acid also can jeopardize your teeth. These acids can wear away tooth enamel, the protective outer layer of your tooth structure. Once enamel on a tooth is weakened or gone, that tooth becomes much more susceptible to decay or injury. Sour candies such as Airheads and Sour Patch Kids can be doubly hazardous; they have sugar like other forms of candy but also contain high levels of acid. And, because many sour candies are made to linger in the mouth, your teeth have a higher exposure to the sugar and acid, doing more potential damage. 

If your child just loves sticky or sour candies and consumes any of them, make sure your child rinses out their mouth with water afterward to rinse away any residual sugar. Also, chewing on some carrot sticks or apple slices, or even some sugar-free gum, will scrub away lingering sugars from their teeth, while also neutralizing the acid and lowering the pH balance inside the mouth.

Encourage your children to add these to their trick-or-treat bags

Snacks such as crunchy fruits and veggies encourage the production of saliva and help rinse away oral bacteria. As mentioned above, saliva is one of the natural means your mouth uses to clean itself. Certain sugar-free candies such as lollipops, hard candies, and gum stimulate saliva without the usual risk with consuming sugar-laden candies, so these are great choices. You also might consider loading up on snack-sized pretzels, crackers, or trail mix, all of which probably can be found in Halloween-themed packaging at this time of year. Any of these savory options are low in sugar and acid.

Pediatric dentistry in Scotts Valley

Whether you have a child in need of a filling, an adolescent looking to achieve straighter teeth through orthodontics, or you require more advanced services such as treatment of obstructive sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint disorder, the team of professionals at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry can fulfill any of the dental needs your children may have. Call (831) 438-4411 to schedule a consultation to learn more about our services.

Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is proud to care for patients located in the California communities of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley.