Halloween is a fantastic time of year for families across the world to get together and indulge on candy. Unfortunately, candy is mostly made up of sugar, and pretty terrible for teeth. Sugar feeds harmful bacteria teeth, and creates acid that erodes enamel. This ultimately cavities, which is why you should limit the number of sugary foods and drinks your family consumes.
This Halloween, instead of passing out candy that’s terrible for teeth, try sharing a few items that are a bit easier on teeth.
Real Dark Chocolate
Milk chocolate contains a combination of milk and sugar additives that can contribute to tooth decay, while dark chocolate does contain those ingredients. Additionally, dark chocolate contains polyphenols, which are natural chemicals that limit the buildup of bad oral bacteria. Polyphenols also help prevent bacteria from turning sugar into acid, thereby limiting acid attacks and keeping enamel healthy.
This Halloween, go to the store and find some all-natural dark chocolate to pass out! Be sure that it is at least 70% cocoa to get the most nutritional value.
Dark Chocolate + Fruit = Halloween Happiness
Fruit satisfies a sweet tooth in much healthier ways than refined sugar. In fact, some fruit cleans your teeth as you eat them. Because of their high fiber content, fruits like strawberries, blueberries and pomegranate scrub teeth as they are chewed. This helps fight plaque buildup, as well as remove other food debris that could harm the tooth surface.
Look for dark chocolate-covered acai berries or blueberries. These sweets are simple for children to enjoy, and a bit healthier than run-of-the-mill candy because they are fruit-based. When shopping for chocolate covered fruit, look for organic, all-natural ingredients and avoid dried fruit treats.
Xylitol is found in fruits and vegetables and its genetic makeup is much healthier for teeth than traditional sugar. The proteins and carbohydrates in traditional sugar fuel cavities, while the genetic makeup of xylitol prevent this from occurring. Xylitol naturally stimulates saliva that aids in overall oral health.
This Halloween, consider passing out some xylitol-sweetened gum! You can find xylitol gum in most convenience stores, and it makes a refreshing addition to any Halloween bowl. Xylitol gum helps keep teeth clean by stimulating saliva production, and naturally rinsing debris away from teeth.
Does Your Child Have a Healthy Diet?
Halloween can be a fun time to eat some unhealthy snacks, which is fine – in moderation. An unhealthy diet can cause serious oral health problems, and lead to more serious problems later in life. If you’re concerned about how your child’s diet may be affecting their teeth, then bring them into our office. We can help you identify mouth-healthy foods that work for your family, and give you basic dietary tips that will better inform your understanding of oral health.