The scariest Halloween costume this year has nothing on what frightening looks kids’ teeth may be sporting if they enjoy All Hallows’ Eve to the sugary extreme.
Statistica.com reports Americans will invest nearly $2.5 billion in candy this Halloween and the United States as a nation will scarf down 4 percent of its candy consumption for the year on the sweetest day of the calendar. That means October 31 could be a Nightmare On Sweet Street for your kids if they don’t enjoy Halloween in moderation.
Here’s a Hit List of the biggest problems dentists find related to kids over indulging on Halloween and beyond:
- Excess sugar causing stomach aches or diarrhea in some people
- Sweets and chocolate causing ‘acid attacks’ on the teeth
- Long-term sugar consumption leading to cavities and tooth decay
Dietitians and dentists concur one sugar binge won’t cause lasting damage. But a failure to brush after eating an excess of heavenly sweets can lead to toothaches, tummy aches and worse. And Halloween’s most popular candies feature off-the-charts sugar levels, making them essentially sugar bombs. Check out these alarming sugar numbers:
- One Starburst packet – 5.5 teaspoons of sugar
- One Caramel piece – 1.7 teaspoons of sugar
- One small Milky Way bar – 8.5 teaspoons of sugar
Dentists recommend smart Halloween candy consumption like eating all candy in one sitting, not eating candy right before a nap or bedtime, and opting for candies that melt quickly like chocolate (won’t get an argument from any kids from that one).
However, the most important things can do to protect their teeth from the sugary wrath of Halloween is brush after eating, according to Dr. Shari Kohn of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
“Brushing after candy consumption is the easiest way to fight the mouth monsters,” she said. “If a toothbrush isn’t available, be sure to swish the mouth with water to dislodge food particles stuck to teeth.”
For smart Halloween enjoyment can save kids from dental nightmares down the road.