Believe it or not, I was once a kid, roaming the neighborhood stuffing my plastic pumpkin with Pixie sticks, Sugar Daddies and Tootsie Rolls.  I can still remember the taste and smell of the Casper the Friendly Ghost mask.

We would take our bags home, throw out the apples and funny looking candies and then gorge ourselves into a sugar coma.  Then, the candy would disappear; I imagine my parents eating it while we were at school, but I’m sure mom threw it out, after secreting all the red hots.

 

Who knew then that I would become a dentist? Of course the official party line on candy is that it is evil incarnate (unless it is sugar-free gum).  We are an obese nation, childhood diabetes is at record levels and on the rise, so of course we should moderate intake.  From a pure dental point of view, gorging on candy for a day has only limited impact.  Heresy, you say?  Sticky and hard candies can damage restorations and appliances like palate expanders, space maintainers and orthodontic brackets, however, as long as the teeth are well cleaned and the binging episode doesn’t drag on for days, I would let kids be kids and enjoy the day.  Well placed dental sealants have eliminated some of the tiny hiding places for candy.  Adults are more likely to have restorations like fillings, crowns and bridges and should be doubly cautious with the sticky candies, or just avoid them.

 

 

 

My kids are hoarders!  You can find candy (and wrappers) all over the house for months following Halloween and Easter!  This means a lot of exposure over time and that IS a problem.  Talk with your kids and take up their candy the next day or that night after the crash. 

And remember, a treat with meals won’t be a big problem, but keeping your teeth healthy is the real trick.