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The sticky sweets of Halloween can cause mischief in children´s teeth

Every year, at this time of the year Spanish people spend more on sweets and in October many of these sweets end up damaging children´s teeth that come to offer trick or treat. However, you might be surprised to know that when it comes to tooth decay not all sweets are prepared in the same way.

The decay and the deterioration of the teeth are caused by prolonged exposure to sugar. Parents can help their children to combat caries by decreasing the amount of sugar that comes into contact with the teeth, aswell as reducing the amount of sweets they eat.

Sugar has been identified by experts in oral health as one of the main causes of tooth decay and teeth deterioration. The natural bacteria in the mouth feed on the sugar candy and other food and convert into acids. This acid attacks the tooth enamel and causes it deterioration.

Chewable or sticky sweets stay in contact with the teeth for longer periods of time. When kids eat sticky sweets like candy, the sweetness remains on the tooth Surface and between the teeth. The more time the sugar remains on the teeth, the greater the time that the bacterium has to form acid. The greater the amount of acid produced, the longer your teeth are exposed to it and therefore the greater the possibility of decay developing.

Advice on how to limit the effects of sugared sweets

  • Choose sweets that can be eaten quickly and easily, to limit the amount of sugar in contact with the teeth.
  • Stay away from sticky candy, chewable, sweet popcorn and other sweets that expose the teeth to sugar for long periods of time.
  • Limit the consumption of acidic candies that contain acids which intensify the acidity. These can contribute to dental erosion and the formation of dental caries.
  • Encourage your kids to eat a small amount of candy at one time followed by a glass of water and/or a thorough brushing of their teeth.
  • Encourage children to eat a good meal before setting out for trick or treat, and then they will be less tempted to fill themselves with candy.

Halloween is an ideal time for parents to think about their children´s oral health, although this should be a concern that lasts all year. We should teach our children good oral habits, such as flossing daily, brushing at least twice a day and visiting the dentist of a regular basis. In this way we can prevent the buildup of sugary sweets in our children´s teeth when Halloween has passed.