October 20, 2019
What does your child want to dress up as for Halloween? A spooky witch? A zombie? A vampire? A mad scientist? They are determined to get as much candy as possible, which has you worried. The sugar in candy fuels the bacteria that can cause cavities in your child’s mouth, and that thought is truly terrifying. No matter how scary your child’s costume is this year, you don’t have to be afraid of the condition of their smile. In this blog post, you’ll learn five Halloween candy tips you can use to keep their teeth strong.
Be Picky with Their Candy
Not all candy affects your teeth the same way. In other words, some candy is worse for your teeth than others. Hard, sticky, or gummy candy tends to linger longer in your child’s mouth, helping bad bacteria produce dangerous acids that erode enamel. In addition, sour candy is more acidic than other treats, which only adds to the barrage attacking your child’s teeth.
Overall, chocolate candy typically washes away easier than many other types and may be the best option for your child’s dental health. Help your child choose their favorite candies out of their Halloween collection, preferably leaning toward the chocolate, and donate or otherwise get rid of the rest.
Time Candy Consumption
Did you know that saliva production is increased during meal time? Your child’s saliva helps to rinse away food particles and bacteria. If you are going to allow your child to consume candy, try to time it around during these times instead of between meals.
Drink Lots of Water
If your child is going to eat Halloween candy, encourage them to sip water throughout the day. These quick, little swigs can wash away the sugars and bacteria, and taking them often can preventing plaque, which consists of bacteria and food particles, from forming and hardening on their tooth enamel.
Practice Healthy Oral Habits Every Day
Regardless of the types of food or treats your child eats, they need to take care of their teeth every day. Make sure that they brush twice and floss once daily. These small habits remove most of the plaque from their teeth and stop the bacteria in it from hurting their teeth.
Visit the Dentist
Make sure that your child is up to date with their dental checkups and cleanings. These appointments allows your child’s dentist to catch any problems early on—before they cause harm to your child’s smile. The professional cleaning removes whatever plaque and tartar that might have been missed in their at-home oral care, helping your child avoid future issues from developing in the first place. If it has been more than six months since your child’s last dental visit, schedule one for them soon.
In the end, candy is an inevitable part of Halloween when you have kids, and avoiding candy altogether isn’t terribly practical. If you follow these tips and put reasonable limits on their candy consumption, you can make sure that your child’s smile remains healthy throughout this holiday season.
About the Practice
In San Luis Obispo, families with children can turn to Coastal Pediatric Dentistry for specialized, child-focused dental care. Dr. James Forester and Dr. Kristine Fu, each of whom has completed a postdoctoral program in Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry and gained years of clinical experience, love to help young patients learn how to maintain healthy teeth. If you would like to contact them to schedule an appointment for your child, you can call (805) 592-2020 or click here.
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