Our traditional philosophy on preventing Halloween cavities may be completely wrong.
Many parents are bracing their children for potential cavities with Halloween just around the corner. With enough candy to feed an army, how do you allow your child to snack without comprising their oral health? One report indicates it may be worse eating candy throughout the day than in one sitting for your children’s teeth.
Sugary sweets, so readily available in abundance around the holiday season, are a catalyst for cavities. The sugar significantly raises the pH level in the mouth, increased acidity eroding the delicate enamel of the teeth.
Thus Halloween understandably presents a real hazard to oral health. In an effort to maintain a realistic diet and prevent cavities, many parents have taken to policing their children’s intake of Halloween candy. There’s chemical evidence it might be better to give your children full access to Halloween candy, sweet news to their ears indeed.
According to Temple University pediatric dentist Mark Helpin, the more often you eat candy is more likely to cause cavities than the amount of candy consumed. Each time candy is consumed, it can take our mouths a full hour to contain the acidic environment and return to normal conditions. Candy throughout the day exposes teeth to constant acidity, creating a much higher risk for cavities.
There’s really no fighting it, children will be consuming loads of candy around Halloween – but that doesn’t mean you can’t help them prevent cavities altogether. Make sure your children brush their teeth after eating Halloween candy. Dentists recommend brushing within 10 minutes of eating sweets, so keep a toothbrush nearby!
Designate a time of day your children are allowed to feast on their Halloween goods, one that won’t completely throw a wrench in their daily diet. It could make a difference the next time you visit the dentist.