Kids' Dental Health: Fighting Cavities After a Candy Binge
After eating sugar-rich foods, a chemical reaction occurs on the surface of the teeth, which leaves them susceptible to cavities. Some of kids' favorite candies are the sticky/chewy kind (like Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Gummi Worms, etc.), which, because they stick to kids' teeth, increase the cavity risk.
To decrease the risk of developing cavities, make sure your kids thoroughly brush their teeth after eating candy. Check to be sure your child removes any sugar pieces from the surface of the teeth and around the gum line. Keep an especially close eye on the back of the mouth and molars. Chewy candies easily lodge themselves in between these teeth. If you've ever bitten down on a lollipop, you know how easily a chunk can wedge itself in a molar! (In a pinch, some dentists recommend a piece of sugarless gum to help remove stuck-on sugar when you can't get to a toothbrush.)
Of course, binging on candy carries health risks beyond tooth decay, like obesity and diabetes. Help keep the health risks associated with a high-sugar diet in check by focusing on teaching your child responsible sugar consumption. Kids should look forward to a piece of candy as a treat, not a diet staple.
For more information on your kid's dental health, visit American Dental Association's web site.