Halloween is a time for fun and treats — just make sure your children’s teeth stay strong and healthy.
Halloween is just around the corner, and if you plan on celebrating this year, it’s likely that your children will be enjoying some sweet treats as part of the festivities. While there is nothing wrong with a little indulgence from time to time, there are some things you should bear in mind for the sake of your family’s oral health. Read on to find out which foods can increase the risk of chips and cracks…
Although most candy contains sugar, and for this reason, can cause damage to the teeth, some types are more harmful than others. Hard candy takes a long time to eat, which means that the teeth are exposed to sugar for extended periods of time, increasing the risk of decay. Additionally, hard candy can cause serious damage, including cracks and chips if you bite into them. It’s best to avoid very hard sweets such as lollipops, hard mints, rock candy and jawbreakers as these tend to place excessive stress on the teeth.
While properly cooked popcorn generally makes a tasty and safe snack, unpopped kernels can cause problems. Biting down on semi-popped or hard, uncooked kernels can cause the teeth to crack, which can be very painful. To avoid hard kernels, shake your bowl of popcorn so that the uncooked pieces fall to the bottom, and don’t eat the crumbs at the bottom of the bowl, as these are often mixed in with hard pieces.
Hard nuts, such as almonds, make a healthy snack. That said, it’s important to be cautious as they can cause cracks and chips, especially if they are stale. If you are serving nuts as part of your Halloween treats, consider cutting them into small pieces or buy slivered almonds instead of whole ones. If you have shelled nuts, don’t use your teeth to open them as this can cause some serious damage to your teeth.
If you are hosting a party this Halloween, you might consider serving up a platter of tasty finger foods, such as chicken wings or ribs. While these make great party foods, it’s important that you are careful about chewing on bones — biting on a hard bone could cause a tooth to crack. If you can, it’s worth cooking up meat that doesn’t contain bones but if this is not an option, simply be careful when enjoying these types of foods and explain to your children that they should not chew on the bones.
Anything that contains hard seeds should be eaten with caution for the sake of your teeth. Olives make a great party snack, but hard pits can cause some serious damage. If you can, serve pitted olives to reduce the risk of injury. Seed and nut bars also tend to be quite hard, so cut them up into small pieces to make them easier to eat. The same goes for hard produce — slice carrots, apples and other hard fruits and veggies into manageable pieces for easy chewing.
Ice and frozen treats
Chewing on ice is one of the worst things you can do for your teeth, as it can easily cause cracks and chips. Frozen treats like ice lollies can also cause damage, so encourage your children to suck on them slowly, rather than chewing and biting on the hard snack.
If you would like to find out more about how best to take care of your family’s oral health, or would like to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.