It’s time for little ghosts, goblins, Minions, and Disney Princesses to go trick-or-treating. The first thing on your mind is probably getting those costumes lined up, but once that’s been achieved, your next thought is likely about what kind of candy to get. It’s a hard balance: you want something that won’t tempt you as it sits in your pantry, yet something the neighborhood kids will enjoy without destroying their teeth. The good news is that I have a few suggestions about which Halloween treats to avoid and which to opt for, instead. What are they?
What to Avoid
Sugar is sugar, but there are some treats that are worse than others. When you consider which treats to buy, avoid these if at all possible:
- Sour Candies — Sour Patch Kids, Squirms, and even Sour Skittles are made sour by large amounts of citric acid, which weakens tooth enamel. This, combined with the sugar, make sour candies one of the worst you can give your kids this Halloween.
- Sticky Candies — Things like gummies and caramels have a tendency to stay stuck to little teeth longer than others. The longer the sugar sits on your child’s teeth, the longer the plaque has to do its work, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
- Super Hard Candies — Things like jawbreakers and Fire Balls are meant to be sucked on, but very few children have the patience to wait. Instead, they bite these concrete-hard treats, running the risk of cracking or chipping teeth.
Try These Instead
You can still keep the neighborhood kids happy without dooming them to a year full of cavities. When it’s time to buy your Halloween candy, stick to these better options:
- Chocolate — The warmth of the mouth softens chocolate as it’s eaten, making it safe for kids who like to chomp on their candy instead of waiting for it to melt. If you get dark chocolate, you’re adding the benefit of antioxidants, as well.
- Sugar-Free Gum — This can actually help undo some of the damage from other treats the kids indulge in. Sugar-free gum can actually remove small food particles that are left in the teeth after eating. Gum also stimulates the production of saliva, which naturally cleans teeth.
- No Candy — Kids also enjoy snacking on things like Goldfish crackers, peanuts, and Ritz Bitz. Try these or even a small toy that will last far longer than any piece of candy. Amazon and Oriental Trading Company have plenty of birthday party favors that can also serve as Halloween treats.
The most important thing this season is that you have fun. Enjoy every last minute with your children before they outgrow the costumes, jack-o’-lantern carving, and candy. If you or your little one have a candy-related dental incident, know that I will be here to help.
Yours in health,