Most kids love Halloween and for good reason. After all, what other holiday brings with it fun costumes and more candy than any one kid could possibly eat? But for parents concerned about the oral health of their children, Halloween can seem like a bit of a challenge. While it’s true that too much sugar of any kind can put your kids at a higher risk of developing tooth decay, some candy is less harmful than others. We’ve collected the following information to help you choose the most tooth-friendly Halloween candy possible for your little ones.
- Chocolate: Believe it or not, chocolate is one of the least harmful candies when it comes to your kids’ teeth and gums. That’s because it doesn’t leave nearly as much residue inside the mouth as other candies. If you want to choose the best of the best, go with dark chocolate, which has a lower sugar content.
- Popcorn balls: While it’s true that these treats usually have less sugar than others, you should practice some caution when it comes to popcorn balls. The kernels can get stuck between teeth, making it hard for kids to thoroughly clean their teeth. Still, popcorn balls are better choices than some other Halloween candy.
- Hard candy: There are two reasons why you should try to keep your kids away from hard candy. Most kids like to leave these candies in their mouths for long periods of time, and the longer that goes on, the more sugar your kids’ teeth are exposed to. The other problem occurs when kids try to chew hard candies, which can actually break their teeth if they’re not careful.
- Gummies: We’ve saved the worst for last. Any type of gummy candy sticks to kids’ teeth, making the sugar that’s left behind extremely hard to remove. And the longer that sugar is in contact with teeth, the more bacteria forms and the greater the chances are that cavities will develop.
There’s no reason why kids shouldn’t celebrate Halloween. But when it comes to maintaining their good oral health, you should be selective about the kinds of treats they enjoy. In addition to the tips listed above, try making healthy treats readily available to your little ones – treats like cheese and yogurt, for example. And always make sure that your kids eat a meal before indulging in Halloween candy since they’ll be less likely to eat too much sugar if they’re already full from a healthy meal. And, of course, make sure that your children practice good oral hygiene each and every day.