With Halloween just around the corner, children are getting ready to go trick-or-treating where they will collect bags full of sugary treats. While you certainly want the kids to have fun and enjoy the holiday, those sugary treats can have a negative effect on their oral health.
Human mouths are full of bacteria. Some of this bacteria is not a problem living in your mouth but other bacteria can be harmful. This harmful bacteria feeds off of the sugars that you eat. They create acids that will destroy your teeth’s enamel, the protective outer layer of your teeth. As they sit on your teeth, these acids cause a bacterial infection, called cavities, that result in little holes puncturing your teeth.
If you don’t receive the proper treatment, the acids have the ability to advance past the enamel and infiltrate the deeper layers of your teeth. This can cause pain and, eventually, the potential loss of teeth.
The enamel on your teeth is hard because it is primarily composed of inorganic minerals like calcium and phosphate ions. The acids from sugars eat away at these minerals that protect your teeth. However, your body is prepared, going through a natural process of remineralization where it replaces these lost minerals, strengthening the teeth.
While your teeth do reproduce the lost minerals, it can only reproduce so much of the minerals. If your intake of sugar is much greater than your body can handle, the sugar will eat away at the enamel of your teeth and cause serious problems to your oral health.
For kids, Halloween means candy. But for their teeth, Halloween can also mean cavities. Consuming large quantities of sugar can be extremely dangerous to your child’s teeth as it can eat away at the enamel that protects the teeth. So this Halloween, remember the impact that the candy in that bag will have on your child’s current and future oral health.