photo of girl dressed in witch costume on HalloweenThe spookiest night of the year is also the sugariest. How can you ensure your child has a Happy Halloween without developing cavities? Today, your general dentist in Denver at Metropolitan Dental Care discusses a few tips and tricks on protecting your child’s oral health during this candy-laden holiday.

What Should My Child Avoid?

We all know that neighbor – the one who hands out apples and toothbrushes on Halloween instead of candy. While fruit is certainly a healthier alternative, it doesn’t mean your child avoid candy completely. In fact, did you know that candy does not directly cause cavities? The primary factor is how long the sugar remains on the teeth afterward. Therefore, if your child brushes his or her teeth after eating Halloween candy, it will help minimize the risk for tooth decay. If you have specific questions about the types of food we recommend, talk to your general dentist in Denver.

Tips for Protecting Your Child’s Teeth during Halloween

Between home, school, and their friends’ houses, your child will inevitably eat sugary snacks and candy around Halloween. Here are a few tips and tricks to fight against tooth decay:

  • Remind your child to brush and floss after eating candy. Every time your child digs into his or her Halloween stash, they should brush and floss thoroughly. This will remove food particles and debris that lead to cavity-causing bacteria.
  • Going trick-or-treating? Eat dinner first. Make sure your child has a full belly before going out on Halloween. They will be less likely to overindulge.
  • Make sure your child stays hydrated. This is a good idea in general. However, drinking more water can help rinse away sugar and debris that may otherwise lead to the formation of cavities.
  • Eat candy after meals. Eating increases saliva production. Spit helps wash away bacteria and sugar left behind by candy.
  • Set a designated “sweet treat” time. Rather than allowing your child to dig into their Halloween candy any time he or she wishes, try setting aside certain times of the day when this is acceptable. This will teach them the value of moderation and help keep their teeth cavity-free.

Healthy Snacking Alternatives

There are plenty of candy alternatives out there, and many of them can be customized to fit a spooky theme. Your general dentist in Denver recommends these healthy snacks:

  • All-natural fruit snacks
  • Apples and peanut butter
  • Cheese and crackers
  • Applesauce pouches
  • Raisins
  • Fruit cups
  • Frozen bananas

Are There Some Candies That Are Better Than Others?

Yes! Believe it or not, chocolate is actually your best bet when it comes to tooth-friendly Halloween candy. Why? Compounds found in the cocoa bean actually have an anti-bacterial effect which can fight against plaque. In fact, some dental experts predict that CBH – the compound found in chocolate – will be added as an active ingredient in toothpastes and mouthwashes. Due to its lower sugar content, dark chocolate is typically more desirable than milk chocolate. And of course, any type of chocolate should be consumed in moderation to avoid other potential health risks. Ask your general dentist in Denver for more information.

Contact Your General Dentist in Denver

To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with your Denver dentist, contact Metropolitan Dental Care. We are proud to serve patients of all ages in Parker, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, and Denver, CO. Call us anytime at 303-534-2626. On behalf of all of us at Metropolitan Dental Care, Happy Halloween!