Dentists warn Halloween candy can damage kids' teeth

Dentists warn Halloween candy can damage kids' teeth
Thursday, October 31, 2013 - 4:01pm

While Halloween is one of the most anticipated holidays for kids, the load of candy they take home tonight could result in some not-so-sweet dental problems.

Halloween is well known for being a night of scaring and terror, but what happens after Halloween can be even more frightening--for your teeth, that is.

That giant bag of candy that kids collect each year can do significant damage to their teeth, especially certain kinds of candies.

"The chewy ones are the ones that probably can give the most damage to teeth," said Dr. Joey Cazares, DDS.  "They stick to existing dental work and can actually pull little stainless steel crowns off the teeth."

Lollipops may not seem like they'd do much harm to your sweet tooth, but many hard candies that stay in the mouth for a long time can send you straight to the dentist's chair.

"The teeth are being bathed with sugar, which the sugar and the bacteria make the acid, which the acid breaks down the enamel of the teeth and causes cavities," Dr. Cazares explained.

Biting into hard candies like "Jaw Breakers" can also crack teeth and cause tooth fractures.  It's always important for parents to monitor what their kids eat on Halloween, and Dr. Cazares says there is a balance that allows kids to enjoy their treats and keep their teeth healthy.

"The kids are going to eat the candy, but just make sure they rinse their mouth out if they can't get to a toothbrush right away.  And make sure that they do not go to sleep Halloween night--or any night for that matter--with sugar in their mouth.  So make sure that they brush and floss."

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