At our Saugus dental office, we care about our youngest patients. We also understand that you want your children to enjoy one of their favorite holidays, Halloween! The following tips will ensure your children can enjoy the holiday while protecting your family’s teeth over the next few candy-filled weeks!
1) Choose your Treats Carefully
Although sugary snacks aren’t so great for your teeth, chocolate is notably better than other types of candy like gummy bears, Skittles, and Starburst. Chewy candies get trapped between and around your teeth, as you might guess, while chocolate washes away more quickly. Even better? Did you know that dark chocolate is one of the healthiest candies for your children? One reason is that it’s easy to clean off their teeth!
2) Stay Away from the Hard Stuff!
Kids and hard candy are a recipe for disaster, according to dentist families everywhere! This is because lollipops, Jolly Ranchers, and butterscotch candies dissolve slowly in the mouth. In other words, teeth and gums are soaking in sugar for extended periods. Hard candy can even cause chipped or broken teeth! Try to limit these sugary snacks if possible.
3) Brush After Every Meal and Every Treat!
It is essential to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day year-round, but this becomes especially important during the weeks after Halloween when candy consumption increases.
According to family dentists, if your children are eight or younger, you should brush their teeth for them (after they’ve had a turn) in the morning and evening. You should also help them floss every night before bed. Furthermore, if candy is consumed at any other time of day, your children should brush their teeth as soon as possible after eating the treats.
4) Drink Water Throughout The Day
Family dentists always recommend that patients drink plenty of water. Juices, sodas, and other sugary drinks are bad for young teeth. On the other hand, water helps clean the mouth and wash away sugars and bacteria. This, in turn, leaves less in the mouth to cause problems. If you fluoridate tap water, it also aids in preventing tooth decay.
5) Plan Out Your Candy Consumption
Instead of grazing on candy all day, have your kids pick their sweets deliberately at a specific time of the day. For example, allow them a piece of candy after lunch and dinner, with brushing planned afterward. Saliva cleanses food particles and germs from a child’s mouths while they eat meals. Eating sweets immediately after meals can help keep candy off the teeth longer.
6) Better to Give Than to Get Cavities!
Does your child need ten pounds of candy each Halloween? After they go trick-or-treating, have your children choose their favorites, then donate the rest. One option for getting rid of your extra Halloween candy is to send it to troops overseas through a program like Treats for Troops. Another option is to search for local candy buy-back programs by Googling “candy buy-back” with your zip code.