Halloween is right around the corner and we know what that means: CANDY! One of our favorite family activities of the fall is trick or treating and attending the Edwardsville Halloween Parade. The kids love the few hours of pretend play, dressing up and collecting their treats. We as parents want them to enjoy this time, but do not want it to result in extra trips to the dentist. Below you find a list of the Top 10 Worst Candy for Teeth. Most are on this list because of the sugar content and sticky, chewy consistency.
- Gummy Bears/Fruit Snacks
- Candy Corn
- Caramel Apple Pops
- Sour Patch Kids
- Now and Later
- Jaw Breakers
- Jolly Rancher
- Twizzlers/Jelly Beans
- Milk Duds
- Bit O’ Honey
As stated earlier, the consistency of these candies is the issue. As our children eat these, the stickiness causes them to stay in the teeth for a very long time. As adults we can feel with our tongue that something is stuck in our tooth and we will work to get it out. Most children are oblivious to this, and the candy will remain until parents brush or pick it out. Many times this may be hours later and a lot of damage can be done in that amount of time. Chewy caramel and taffy can pull out fillings, crowns, etc. Hard candy can not only break teeth and fillings, but also stays in the mouth far too long, leaving a constant sugar coating in the mouth. The sour candy is very acidic which is destructive to the enamel.
My all time most despised snack is the fruit snack. Why you ask? Because it is labeled “fruit”, it is perceived by many not as candy but actually as a healthy snack for our young ones to eat. This could not be further from the truth. Fruit snacks are nothing more than candy and contain no fruit, only artificial fruit flavoring. They wreak havoc on the teeth because they stick around so long. In my house these things do not exist…they are considered the devil in my eyes! I have seen many children with cavities between their teeth due to these snacks, so please beware. Protect your children’s dental health by dropping these from your grocery list.
Now that we have listed the main foods to avoid, what’s left? The safest candy for children to consume is actually chocolate candy. Although yes it contains sugar, it melts quickly and does not stick to the teeth. If you choose dark chocolate, you can even have some health benefits from the candy in small amounts.
The question I get all the time is “do your kids get to go trick or treating?” The answer is yes, absolutely for the experience of it. My girls get to have a few pieces that night while we’re out. After returning home, all the candy is put away. Out of sight, out of mind! A treat is allowed at dinner time occasionally. By eating the candy at a meal time, you can help wash it down with the water they are drinking and other foods can help to clean it off the teeth as well. A big NO NO is candy remaining in the hands of the kids. If they have access to it at all times, you can bet on too much sugar exposure. You definitely want to make sure they do not hide the candy in their rooms; for fear that they will sneak candy at bedtime after the teeth have been brushed.
Have a wonderful and safe Halloween!!!!