How to Keep Your Children’s Teeth Healthy this HalloweenGrandview Dental | October 19, 2016
It’s nearly Halloween, and many of our kids will soon be rushing home with bags and buckets overflowing with candy and treats. While the holiday is a great time to create lasting memories for our children, there’s one thing we don’t want lasting – tooth decay.
Candy’s not a bad thing, but you may want to put some additional effort into keeping your kids’ mouths and teeth healthy during Halloween. Add in a few healthy tricks with this year’s treats, and their smile will remain bright and healthy.
Make sure They Brush Regularly
As we’ve discussed before, the main issue with candy or other sweets is frequency, not amount. Our teeth need to be cleaned shortly after consuming sugary substances, even if the pile of candy wrappers we leave behind is relatively small.
Keep your kids to their regular brushing routine, and make sure they are drinking plenty of water in between sessions to flush away food particles. And no sneaking candy before bedtime – sugar hanging around on teeth overnight increases cavity risk.
Keep Candy ‘Treats’ – Save for After Meals
Your kids may not like it, but it can be important to put your foot down about when Halloween candy can be eaten. Instead of snacking throughout the day, it’s a good idea to keep it to dessert after meals.
This serves double duty as chewing during meals promotes the production of saliva, your mouth’s first line of defense in removing cavity-causing substances. And since they will hopefully have a full stomach afterward, your kids will be less inclined to gorge themselves on the sweets.
It’s not just Your Kids – Pass out Healthy Treats
As they say, it takes a village to raise a child, so consider doing your part this year and fill your own Beggar’s Night bowl with healthy alternatives for the neighbor kids. Instead of chocolate and other sweets, consider small toys or other fun surprises (here’s our list to get you started).
If you do plan on handing out candy, consider going with low-sugar options. Small packages of sugar-free gum can be a good idea; so are individual boxes of raisins. Make sure to avoid hard or sticky candy – along with all the sugar they carry, treats like taffy can get stuck in kids’ teeth, or even pull out a filling.
Halloween is a Great Time for a Dentist Appointment
Once the holiday is done, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a regular teeth cleaning for your children. Along with the horde of candy they collected at Halloween, Christmas cookies are right around the corner so this is a smart time of year to get them in the dentist chair.
And if your kids don’t already have them, it’s also a good time to consider dental sealants. This process entails a thin covering placed over the back teeth that helps prevent cavities from forming, and fights plaque and tartar buildup. You can learn more about this simple process, or schedule an appointment with our office online or by calling 614-486-7378.
Halloween candy can do a number on our kids’ oral health, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. So let them have fun, stay on top of their dental hygiene, and have a great time!