I have fond memories of Easter egg hunts. My siblings and I would compete to see who could find the most eggs or the best prizes. Besides, what little kid doesn’t like searching for colorful eggs with candy inside?
As Easter is quickly approaching, we wanted to help you prepare by giving you a guide for the kind of candy you plan to purchase this year.
1. The Worst Candy for Your Child’s Teeth
We’d like to start off by stating the obvious: no candy is actually good for your child’s teeth. While some are better than others, it’s important to be careful about the kind of candy you let your children eat.
Most candies contain high amounts of sugar. This sugar actually feeds harmful bacteria in your child’s mouth – bacteria that produces plaque. If teeth are not adequately taken care of (brushed, flossed, etc.), plaque can easily build up and begin to decay teeth.
Tooth decay that is left untreated by a dentist can cause serious damage to your child’s oral health, causing conditions such as gum disease.
Hard candies usually take a while to dissolve, giving the sugar more time to collect on the teeth. Especially if children chew the hard candy, pieces can become wedged in the teeth, causing further damage.
The Culprits: Lollipops (Tootsie Pops), Jolly Ranchers, Jaw Breakers, etc.
Candies that are sticky or chewy are sisters to hard candies. Particles of the candy can easily linger on the teeth, creating more plaque faster. This is unfortunate since chewy candies are often kids’ favorites.
The Culprits: Gummy Bears/Worms, Taffy, Jelly Beans, Candy Corn, Snickers, etc.
Candy that is sour uses a whole new tactic to ruin your child’s smile. Since they are made of sugar, they still feed bacteria but in addition to that, they often contain an acidic element – to make them sour. Acid erodes enamel on teeth – the protective coating around each tooth – making them more susceptible to decay.
The Culprits: Sour Patch Kids, WarHeads, Sour Skittles, etc.
2. The Worst Easter Candy for Your Child’s Teeth
Most little kids would probably agree that any kind of candy is delicious. Unfortunately, some of the Easter candy falls into the categories above. Take a look at some of the Easter candies you might want to leave on the shelves this year.
- Bunny Basket Eggs
- Candy Corn
- Crème-Filled Chocolate Eggs
- Fluffy Stuff Cotton Tails
- Starburst Jelly Beans
- Wonka Sweet Tart Chicks
3. What to Hunt for Instead
Now, saying that kids shouldn’t have any candy on Easter kind of feels like saying they shouldn’t have any fun. We do want your kids to have fun, but we also want their teeth to stay healthy! Here are a few options that will be a better treat for your kiddo on Easter.
Because dark chocolate is so rich in cocoa, it has some benefits for your child’s teeth (in moderation, of course)! Some great options for Easter candy are Dove Chocolate Easter Eggs and any hollow dark chocolate bunnies.
While kids might not love sugar-free candy, it’s better than no candy! Sugar free hard candies and gum are much better than regular candies. They can even help stimulate your kid’s saliva glands, helping to fight off cavities.
Healthier doesn’t mean yuckier. Try hiding little baggies of trail mix or some KIND bars for the hunt! Those treats are just as delicious – and much better for your child’s teeth – than regular Easter candy.
Toys or Prizes
When I was younger, my parents would put small prizes or money in some of the Easter eggs instead of candy. The real winner of the hunt wasn’t who had gathered the most eggs, but who had found the egg with the $20! This Easter, consider hiding small prizes in your eggs instead of candy.
We hope this guide has been helpful to you – and that it saves you a few toothaches.
Does your family have any special Easter-egg-hunt traditions? We’d love to hear your story in the comments!