It’s that time of year again…Halloween is just around the corner. I think there are two holidays that tend to have a natural connection to your family dentist: Halloween and Easter. This is no doubt due to the cultural pattern of exchanging and consuming different sweet treats on those days. Now, I’m going to tell you that you shouldn’t let your kids have any candy. I can remember when I was a kid and I knew to avoid the houses that gave out toothbrushes and pencils for Halloween instead of Snickers bars and M&M’s. However, I do want you to be smart about how you allow your children (and yourselves for that matter) to indulge in the candy this year. Consider this your family dentist Halloween advice.
We all know that sugary foods are one of the leading causes of cavities. Knowing that, our first thought might be to limit or spread out the amount of candy we allow our children when they return from Trick or Treating. This idea of allowing your children a couples pieces now and then a couple more in an hour may actually be the wrong idea. You see, the reason sugary foods create an environment beneficial to cavities is because they change the pH of our mouths by introducing acidity into the mouth.
It generally takes around an hour for the pH balance to be returned to its normal level. If we are spreading out the candy consumption of our children by giving them a little candy each hour, we are actually insuring that the acidity in their mouth remains constant for a longer amount of time. Your family dentist thinks it may be a better idea to allow them to indulge in a little larger amount of candy at one time. This will insure that pH is brought back to healthy levels much sooner.
Another tip from your family dentist is to incorporate that Halloween candy with meals as a form of snack or dessert. This is due to saliva production being very strong during a meal. Saliva is the mouth’s natural means of washing away the acidity in the mouth and helping to protect it from tooth decay. So after Wednesday night, use all that leftover candy as a snack with some healthier food and as a dessert after a good meal. Your kids will still get to enjoy it and your family dentist will thank you the next time you come in for a checkup and cleaning. So there you go, a few little tips to get you through this candy focused holiday. Also if you don’t have a family dentist, come see us. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online; we’d love to meet you and keep you smiling. Leave us a note in the comments telling us what you and your family is dressing up as for Halloween!
Source: Science Daily