Dental Care Education

You Mean I Can’t Have ANY Candy???

October 6, 2018 by Sandra Holifield, Oral Health Outreach Manager 

With Halloween coming up, children will be getting that candy filled gleam in their eyes, trying to find the most popular costume, and start counting down the days until their “Candy Coma”.

So, is eating candy really that horrible?

The simple answer is no…if you follow some simple guidelines.

The bad thing about candy is the amount of sugar it contains. Most candy is made up of sugar, but the most popular and worst choices are based on sugar content, with nearly 40 grams or 7 teaspoons of sugar in each piece of candy!

Try this when you are at home - take a teaspoon and measure out 40 grams of sugar. That’s what a child will consume with each candy bar or sticky, chewy serving of their Halloween treats! Now, multiply that by 100, because if your child is anything like me as a child, they will gorge themselves until they fall into a sleep sugar coma.

How can I say that eating candy isn’t that horrible?

Well, like most things today, eating in moderation is important to consider. If your child has a huge pillowcase full of candy, find a great hiding place to store some of the candy.

The first and foremost tip to follow, whether candy is involved or not, is to have an established home care routine. This routine must involve proper technique, adequate time, and parental supervision and help. You shouldn’t expect little Billy at 4 years old to go into the bathroom and brush his teeth effectively.

Children typically do not have the dexterity and control to brush for themselves until they can write legibly, which is about 8-9 years old. For children who need to “do it myself”, you can allow them to brush, but always follow up and brush after them.

Are all candies the same when it comes to oral health? Simple answer…no.

Sticky, chewy candies tend to stick in the grooves of teeth longer and have the potential to cause more damage. The best candies would be the ones that melt quickly or can be ingested quickly.

However, these things won’t matter if your child is consuming candy constantly; the sugar will still sit on their teeth. Again, this is why you’ve already taken the pillowcase and found a great hiding place for it!

So, remember that Halloween is a fun time for kids, but should always be supervised and always, always be followed by proper brushing and flossing either with you or by you! Have a great and safe Halloween!

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