Halloween can be pretty scary, and not just for its ghosts, witches, and goblins. Halloween has been known to frighten more than just a few parents for what all that gooey, sugary candy can do to their kids’ teeth. Thankfully, as a parent, you don’t have to make your kids opt out of all the Halloween fun just because you don’t want their teeth to end up looking like that candy corn they’ve been scarfing by the boatload. In fact, it likely will surprise you to learn that some of the candy they get for for trick or treat may even be good for their teeth. For instance, sugarless candies can actually benefit teeth. But what about the rest of them? Is one sugary candy just as bad as another? Or are all Halloween candies that contain sugar as ghastly as those costumes they picked out? Here are some dental health tips for parents at Halloween about the best and worst Halloween candy for teeth.
Sugarless candies… all treat and no trick!
Sugarless candy… seriously? You bet! Okay, maybe there was a time when, if parents mentioned ‘sugarless’ to their kids, it’d be as hair-raising scary as a haunted hayride. But sugarless candy manufacturers have stepped up their game, and many of today’s sugarless confections are every bit as delicious as their fright-inducing, refined-sugar-filled counterparts.
Try giving your kids a little sugarless chocolate for Halloween without telling them the sugar is merely an apparition.
With recent addition of natural sweeteners to many sugarless candies, your kids will never miss the sugar, and you’ll be pleased as pumpkin that their faces won’t end up looking like all those Jack-o-lanterns they’re carving!
Dark chocolate… scary good for teeth!
Dark chocolate… good for teeth? Absolutely! Dark chocolate candy bars, especially those that are made with natural sugars, can be good for teeth for a number of reasons. First, they contain loads of nutrients such as antioxidants that are highly beneficial to teeth and tooth structures. Second, the cocoa beans used in dark chocolates are rich in natural compounds that not only are good for teeth, but believe it or not, actually help your children’s mouths fight bacteria! But why dark chocolate over its brother and sister, milk and white chocolate? Simple. Dark chocolate typically is more close to the actual cocoa bean than milk or white.
Candy bars with nuts… cast a spell over refined sugars!
Most nuts are rich in nutritional content, making candy bars with nuts also a better choice for teeth than most other sugary candies. Additionally, one of the best things about nutty candy bars is that they reduce the negative effects of the sugars contained within them. The nuts help to break down refined sugars, making them a much better option for Halloween candies than other confections. It’s as though they’ve cast a spell on all those nasty refined sugars!
Gooey candies… the bo-gooey-man of Halloween!
At the top of the list for candies that have the power to leave your children’s teeth a fright… all those ooey, gooey, sticky treats your kids love so much. From gummy worms and gummy bears, to caramels and lollipops, anything that sticks to their teeth is likely to be just as horrifying for their teeth as it is for their bodies.
Dried fruits… RIP teeth!
Dried fruits… really? Unfortunately, yes. Though dried fruits can be good for their bodies (though eating a piece of fruit is probably better for that too), fruits that have been dried tend to be a gooey, sugary nightmare for teeth and their surrounding structures. The fact is that nothing else can send your kids’ teeth to the tooth graveyard quicker than anything sugary that attaches all that nasty bacteria to their teeth and sticks around for a vampire’s age. Better they should partake in sugarless chocolates or a nutty candy bar, especially if it also contains dark chocolate!
Halloween is a day your kids look forward to all year. They simply can’t imagine skipping the parties, the trick-or-treating, and especially all those sugary treats this holiday brings with it. But, as a parent, you simply can’t imagine allowing them to indulge in all those sugary treats nearly as much as they want. Thankfully, you already know that the key to all such fun is often moderation. You know you’re not going to deprive your kids of the Halloween fun they look forward to all year. So what do you do when they empty out that bag or pillow case and see all that sugary candy on the floor, just waiting to seep into their mouths and cause cavities? The answers are simple. Halloween is a great time to teach your kids moderation. It’s also a great time to reiterate the importance of dental hygiene. And, now you know that, when it comes to Halloween candy, not all sugary treats are created equal.