As a parent, you probably know that candy isn’t the best food for ensuring that your child has a healthy smile, however, children can enjoy a limited amount of candy on special occasions without putting their dental health at risk.
When can children eat candy?
Candy should not form part of a child’s regular diet, but it’s okay to give a child candy as an occasional treat. Your children can safely eat Halloween candy, as long as you make sure that they keep up a good dental hygiene routine with regular teeth cleaning and flossing.
Tips for protecting children’s teeth from candy
The best way for children to consume candy is as a treat at the end of a meal, rather than grazing on candy throughout the day. Candy typically contains a lot of sugar, which encourages the growth of the oral bacteria that cause cavities, tooth decay and gum pain. You can minimize the growth of these bacteria by asking your children to brush their teeth roughly 20-30 minutes after they eat the candy.
Talk to your family dentist
No matter how frequently or infrequently your children eat candy, they need to attend regular dental visits to protect their teeth. As soon as your kids’ first teeth come through, you should register them with a Massachusetts provider of family dentistry so they can have their first dental checkup. Registering with a family dentist in Stoneham, Woburn or Melrose also ensures that your child can access emergency dentistry services if an urgent dental problem arises.
Your family dentist in Reading, Winchester, Wakefield or Burlington is the best dentist to ask for advice about caring for your children’s teeth. He or she can give advice about teeth cleaning for children, as well as letting you know whether harmful plaque is starting to build up in your child’s mouth. Plaque is a thin film of bacteria that develops on the teeth. Eating sugary foods like candy encourages plaque to form, but you can clean it away before it hardens by brushing your teeth regularly.
Setting candy ground rules on Halloween
Kids love to join in with seasonal celebrations, and sweet treats can make an occasion feel special for them. On Halloween, give each child a small allowance of candy. It’s important to explain to kids that candy is a “special food” that is only for celebrations, not something they should eat every day. Make sure you also explain to kids that they need to brush their teeth after eating candy to keep their teeth healthy.
Should you ban kids from eating Halloween candy?
As most parents have already found out, telling children they can’t have something only makes them want it more. Instead of placing an outright ban on Valentine’s candy, set limits that help your child to enjoy it safely. For more information about candy and children’s teeth, book a dentist appointment with a Massachusetts family dentist to discuss your concerns.