Now that the calendar has turned to October, your child is probably counting down the days until Halloween. Maybe they already have an eye on their costume and are making plans for trick-or-treating. As fun as this holiday may be, the reality is that Halloween can wreak havoc on your child’s teeth. That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place ahead of time. Keep reading to learn how you can keep your child’s teeth healthy while still letting them have an incredible Halloween.
- Avoid candy that sticks – Keep in mind that the length of time sugary food remains in your mouth plays a major role in tooth decay. Not surprisingly, sticky candies such as gummy bears and taffy take longer to get washed away by saliva. These kinds of sweets present a recipe for disaster when it comes to oral health. As much as possible, have your child stick to chocolate.
- Encourage them to chew gum – Depending on how old your child is, gum presents a healthy alternative to candy. Dental health professionals know that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay. How is this possible you may be wondering? Well, increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by dental plaque bacteria. Not to mention, flavorful gum often does just enough in satisfying our sweet tooth.
- Steer clear of beverages with added sugar – Remember that the risk of tooth decay increases when teeth come in contact with sugary beverages. This time of year, it’s easy to fall into the trap of giving your child excess soda, juice, or sports drinks. However, avoid this at all costs. With all the extra sugar they’re consuming from candy, the last thing they need is to wash it down with beverages also laced with sugar. This month, in particular, it’s a good idea to have your child drinking plenty of water.
- Opt for soft candies, not hard candies – This ties back in with the first tip. Unless it’s a sugar-free product, candies that remain in the mouth for an extended period of time play a role in developing cavities. In turn, teeth are put at an increased risk for tooth decay.
- Have your child eat candy with meals – Kids love getting the most candy possible on Halloween night. That said, it’s never a good idea to let them just snack on candy after school. Make an effort to only allow them to eat a few pieces with meals or shortly after mealtime. Interestingly, saliva production increases during meals and helps eliminate acids produced by bacteria in their mouth, effectively rinsing away food particles.
How Our Family Dentist Can Help
Dr. Ken Claggett has been practicing in Sandy for nearly 40 years. From braces to family dental care, Beaver Brooke is your one-stop dentist office. Don’t let this Halloween ruin your child’s good oral health. If you could benefit from additional tips on maintaining their teeth during this time of year, please don’t hesitate to contact our dentist clinic.
Call Beaver Brooke Dental today.