Candy is a favorite for many when it comes to Halloween, but there are few things more spooky than getting cavities, especially in young kids.
Each year as the halloween season rolls around, the eyes of many young people light up at the sight of bagfuls of colorful sweets, but these bright packages present a real danger for young children’s dental care.
When 8-year-old Alyssa Loeffler was asked why she brushed her teeth, she wisely responded, “so that your teeth stay strong and you don’t get cavities.”
Little kids love to show off their mountains of candy with pride and excitement, but moms and dads need to be aware of what kinds of candy are the worst for little one’s teeth.
“With my own kids — and they can attest to this — when they get home with their mountains of candy, the first thing I do is try and take out those really high-exposure candies,” shared Alyssa’s mom Rachel, a mother of six and a dental hygienist.
High-exposure candies are those high in acid.
“A pH level of one is battery acid,” explained Kati Smith, dental hygienist at Greg Pitts D.D.S. “So candy like Warhead, Sour Spray, and FunDip are almost as bad as battery acid on your teeth.”
Taking care of kids’ dental hygiene is essential as the little ones indulge in their tricks and treats. Smith actually recommends to set aside a time of day for your kids to have their candy, and then to wait until the next day.
“A lot of times, rather than giving your kids little pieces of candy throughout the day, you have them eat two or three pieces at once and then be done,” Smith advised. “ That’s better for their teeth.”
Parents should also know that dental hygiene is important in their young babies.
“It’s very important to see a kid early,” said Dr. Greg Pitts, D.D.S. “A lot of things happen in the first six months to a year.”
Many young children have fears of the dentist, so teaching them the importance from a young age is essential in keeping kids healthy.
“A lot of times, dentistry can be a little bit fearful and have a little bit of anxiety associated with it,” said Dr. Pitts. “Sometimes parents add to that, because they kind of take their fears and phobias and pass it on to their kids, so it’s kind of like putting gas on the fire.”
Kids can learn to brush their teeth from a young age. Dr. Pitts also suggests to bring kids to parents’ dental appointments.
“We like the appointment short and simple so it’s not a long, drawn out process,” shared Dr. Pitts. “Kids don’t have a long attention span and they can lose patience quickly.”
As the cavities haunt in the shadows during the Halloween season, remember to help young children with their dental care while still enjoying their candy.