Halloween ushers in the beginning of the candy buying season here in America. Last Halloween consumers were estimated to buy more then $1.9 billion in candy and it is among the four largest candy buying seasons of the year including; Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter. It’s also the same month as National Dental Hygiene Month.
Frequently eating chocolates, candy, and other sweets can create an ideal environment for decay causing bacteria and lead to toothaches, sensitivity, and cavities. Plaque is a sticky substance that is made of bacteria that thrive on sugars and carbohydrates that are left in the mouth and produce harmful acid that attack your teeth.
Candy that is sticky or hard tends to remain in the mouth for a longer period of time and can be more harmful then softer candy such as chocolate which washes away easier with saliva. Choosing treats that are sugar free or non-candy treats such as stickers and toys can help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria. Also certain cheeses and the calcium from dairy can help to increase salivary production and help to neutralize acids and wash away any remaining sugars.
Sticky and hard candy can actually cause damage to dental work, braces and retainers. Hard candy sugars are harmful due to the length of time they remain in the mouth and biting into a hard candy can chip, break or fracture teeth. Softer candy in moderation such as chocolates and sugar free gum can be a safer alternative.
Thanks to the advancements in dentistry, protecting your teeth from decay-causing bacteria and cavities has become much easier. And choosing treats that are sugar free or non-candy treats such as stickers and toys can help reduce the amount of harmful decay causing bacteria. Tooth decay is the most chronic disease effecting children and is a disease that is not treated with immunizations or by physicians. Maintaining proper brushing, flossing home care and routine dental check ups along with preventative care such as fluoride varnishes, which are ‘painted’ on teeth, and ph balancing rinses are being used to prevent tooth decay