Best Tips to Protecting your Child’s Smile from Halloween Candy
Sugar is sweet but let’s not forget with the arrival of Halloween and the holidays just around the corner, it is important to keep our children’s oral health at the top of our list. We recently caught up with Drs. Thomas and Moore of Thomas and Moore Pediatric Dentistry for a few tips so that all of those Halloween treats do not turn into tricky situations down the road for our children.
KEEP THEIR FANGS FLAWLESS
Brush and floss their teeth twice a day. We all know this one! It is recommended to brush and floss your teeth twice a day, but just because they are brushing your teeth doesn’t make eating candy okay. It is important to know that when plaque on their teeth combines with the sugars and starches, an acid is produced that attacks enamel on the teeth, and eventually causes decay. Once your child is over the age of 6, the teeth they have need to last them for the next 100 years. Nutritious foods such as raw vegetables, plain yogurt, cheese, or fruit can help keep your child’s smile healthy.
TIP: Make brushing and flossing fun! If they feel like it is a chore they might be more inclined to skip or not do it for the full two minutes that is recommended. For more information on the best teeth brushing practices.
EVEN MUMMIES DON’T WANT TOOTH DECAY
Enforcing limits on how much candy and sweets your child can have is crucial especially once Halloween is over and their goody bags remain. One night per year, candy is okay. But, the next morning, it should be gone or limited. Make sure they don’t have full access to their candy bags at all times or try to “stash” candy, even a small increase in sugar consumption can be enough to cause cavity trouble.
Tip: If you want to reduce how much candy your child consumes, make a deal with them where they exchange candy for a non-food gift.
SUGAR IF YOU DARE BUT CAVITIES BEWARE
Be cautious of the different types of candies and their risks. At the end of the day, too much candy can cause dental issues and disease, but by keeping it in moderation and understanding ingredients that your child consumes it is okay to splurge. Certain candies can be worse offenders than others.
- Chocolate is your best bet because it washes off your teeth the fastest.
- Hard candy can break teeth, if you are not careful.
- Sour candy has a very acidic factor, which can weaken the outer shell of teeth. These usually double as a hard or gummy candy, doubling the damage of those Sour Patch Kids.
- When it comes to stick candy, be picky. This includes Skittles, Starburst, AirHeads, and Gummies. Due to the sticky factor, these candies tend to get lodged on teeth and make it tough to get off, even after brushing.
Tip: Have your children pick out a few of their favorite pieces and donate or toss the rest!
NOT ALL HEROS WEAR CAPES
Remember that your teeth are vulnerable to those mean ole sugar bugs too! Moderation is important for you and your children if you want to avoid a problem that requires a dental filling or crown. Set a good example by showing your children when to step away from the treats, and involve them with creating your own healthy habits.
Tip: When you treat yourself to sweets let your children see what you do next. Try drinking water to help wash away debris, and be thorough when brushing and flossing daily.
Have spook-tacular Halloween night full of treats, then it should be limited or better yet gone! And of course, don’t forget to brush and floss really well that night! Also Remember to schedule regular checkups with your child’s dentist every six months for a professional teeth cleaning.
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TELL THEM SCOUT SENT YOU!