Kids love the fun spookiness of Halloween. Each year they dress up in costumes, walk door-to-door, and collect delicious candy. However, adults know that the sugars in candies can be harmful to teeth, causing painful cavities to develop. But if you deny your children their sweets, then they may envision you wearing horns and a red pitchfork for your Halloween costume. Here at Price Pediatric Dental, we offer a few tricks that allow your kids to have their treats while maintaining good oral health.
Less Is More
Lots of candy will increase your child’s risk for not only a toothache, but a stomachache as well. Make a rule for your child that they can have only a few pieces of candy a day. This will not only make their sweets last for a longer period of time, but it will give the plaque in your mouth less sugar to create acid from (which causes tooth decay).
Have your child eat their candies with meals. Doing so protects their oral health because saliva flow increases during meals. Saliva washes away food debris and neutralizes the acids that cause cavities to develop.
Water Them Down
Though a sweet drink like apple cider may be a preferred fall beverage, encourage your child to drink plenty of water while eating their Halloween goodies. Water helps to clean away food particles, neutralize acids, and it also puts fluoride in the mouth that helps to strengthen teeth.
Sweets In One Sitting
Having your child eat several pieces of candy in one sitting is actually better than eating several pieces of candy throughout the day. Doing so reduces the amount of time the candy (and its sugars) stays in your mouth.
Seal Away The Tooth Decay
You may want to consider having your child visit our dentist for a dental sealant before the Halloween holiday. A sealant is a plastic barrier that covers and protects the chewing surface of the teeth most vulnerable to decay.
Floss Them Too
Of course, the most important tip to remember is having your kids brush their teeth twice a day and floss them at least once a day. However, don’t have them do this immediately after eating their candy. The enamel is softer and more vulnerable at this time, so brushing may actually aid enamel erosion. Have your child wait at least half an hour before brushing their teeth.