Halloween is fast approaching! Are you ready to protect your child’s oral health? Sweet, sticky candies can cause cavities and tooth decay, but you can minimize this problem’s effect if you have a plan. Knowing how to manage candy consumption and how to take care of your child’s teeth can help ensure that they will maintain healthy teeth this Halloween season. Here’s what we suggest:
Eat Right Before You Head Out
Your child is more likely to eat lots of candy on Halloween night if they’re hungry. Make sure your child has a full tummy before going trick-or-treating. Serve a balanced meal with lots of protein to keep your child full for longer after dinner is over.
When you get home from trick-or-treating, limit the candy your child eats to a few pieces, then put the rest away. Make sure your child brushes their teeth well before bed.
Eat Candies After Meals, Avoid Mid-Day Snacking
Hang on to your child’s Halloween candy – don’t leave the candy in their room, where they can eat it any time they want. Discourage mid-day snacking on candies. Instead, tell your child or children that they can eat their candies after meals only.
It’s better to eat candy after meals because this is when saliva production is high. Saliva helps rinse away food particles and clean teeth, so eating candy after meals help minimize the damaging impact of the sugar and artificial sweeteners of candy on your teeth.
Sort Candies After, Choose Candies Wisely
Candies that are sticky will cling to your child’s tooth enamel and can become difficult to brush away. Hard candies are similar – they become crushed between molars and stick to the enamel for long after the candy has been eaten. Sort out these candies from the rest of your child’s Halloween candy if you want to take extra precautions.
The best candies tend to be those that melt or rinse away easily – like chocolate-based candy. Sugar-free gum and candies are also better for your child’s teeth.
Get Rid of the Stash After a Set Period of Time
One of the problems with Halloween candies is that they tend to hang around for months after the holiday is over, which prolongs your child’s exposure to sugar. Set a date a few weeks after the holiday for getting rid of the candy. Tell your child that you’ll be getting rid of the leftover candies after a certain date, so it doesn’t take them by surprise.
Maintain Your Child’s Oral Hygiene Routine
Now more than ever, it’s important to maintain a solid oral hygiene routine. Make sure your child is brushing twice each day and flossing at least once. Remember that children 7 and under often need their teeth brushed for them because they don’t have the dexterity to brush their teeth effectively on their own.
Schedule a visit with your dentist for a cleaning a few weeks after Halloween, to catch any problems in their early stages. Request your child’s appointment with us today, so you can be proactive about their oral health this Halloween season.