ODESSA, Texas — Well as the dust settles on Halloween and the candy has been doled out to all the youngsters, it’s important to keep in mind the effects that it can have on your teeth.
There are ways for kids to still enjoy those sweets without doing too much damage to their pearly whites.
It really is an underrated part of the 'spooktacular' holiday, but dental care should be taken into consideration when it comes to the candy consumption for children.
Halloween is always a fun night for children to dress up and go trick or treating, but it can be tricky for parents to navigate afterwards when it comes to dental health.
All of the different kinds of candy can be a literal sugar rush for kids, but that sugar can do damage to their still-developing teeth.
“Sticky hard candies, they can stick on the teeth, and kids baby teeth, their enamel isn’t as hard as permanent tooth enamel so cavities can form a little bit easier with young ones," said Dr. Joel Edwards, Pediatric Dentist, DDS at Big Smiles Ranch Pediatric Dentistry in Odessa. "They are not always the best brushers as well, so making sure that we get the candy off is the main goal.”
Creating a strategy for how much candy a child consumes and when that child eats it is key.
“Pick out the best candy that you want, you know combining it with meals as a desert, that’s going to be better for your teeth than having it as a snack throughout the day," said Edwards. "I would say try to pick out the best candy, keep it in your house for about a week, and then after that, try your best to get rid of it. That would be the best thing to do with that candy.”
Edwards says that there is a high-risk for cavities in West Texas, and that Halloween is just the beginning of a candy run.
“I think for it being Halloween, just make sure if you eat candy, brush and floss afterwards," said Edwards. "If we do that and take care of the little uptick we have here. Try not to give kids candy before bedtime and then not brush their teeth, that’s what is going to cause the most detriments to them, so, if we can do that, then, hey, we can have healthy smiles and get through the Halloween season.”
Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter are also part of this cumulative effect that everyone must be aware of. However, with the focus on Halloween at the moment, you can go to operationgratitude.com or soldiersangels.org to donate excess candy towards a great cause, with the latter’s program called 'Treats for Troops.'