Halloween is an excellent time of year for parents to think about their children’s teeth. Regularly encouraging good oral health habits with your children, including flossing daily, brushing at least twice a day, and visiting the dentist will keep everyone’s smile healthy.
Ensure that scary sugar villains don’t stick around on your children’s teeth long after Halloween is over by using these simple tricks to avoid post-Halloween cavities.
Be Selective With Sweets
To help you sort through the trick-or-treating bag loot, we have compiled a rundown of some common candies and their impact on your teeth:
Chocolate – One of the better candy options for your teeth because it washes off the surfaces of each tooth easier than other types of candy. Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate, making it an even better option.
Sticky and Gummy Candy – These types of treats are the worst for your teeth. This candy is harder to remove and may linger longer than you’d like, which gives the cavity-causing bacteria more time to create decay.
Hard Candy – These treats tend to linger in your mouth for an extended period of time, giving your teeth a sugar bath in the process. They can also break your teeth if you’re not careful and bite down with too much force.
Sour Candy – Often sticky and coated in sugar, sour candies can also be very acidic, which weakens and damages your enamel.
Set a Treat Time
A very effective way of ensuring your children aren’t over-indulging on Halloween candy for days following the holiday is to set a treat time. Doing so helps to promote healthy thinking about treats and how to enjoy them in moderation. Knowing they have a specific sweet treat time can help to make children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day.
Treats Are Fine In Moderation
Denying your children the Halloween experience can send the entirely wrong message of deprivation. This often leads to making candy seem even more irresistible, leading to other problems of overindulgence later in life. Stacking on tasty treats is fine in moderation, so set your treat limits and stick to them. Once they have chosen, donate the unpicked treats to a local food bank or freeze them if you can’t bear to throw them out.
Keep Teeth Brushing Fun
Toothbrushes should be replaced every 3-4 months, so make Halloween an occasion for getting your child a new toothbrush that they’re excited about using. Dentists agree that when a child likes their toothbrush, they’re more likely to enjoy brushing.
Kids also like to pick out their own toothpaste, Give your child the freedom to select their own flavor, color, and type. Just check the label first to ensure it contains fluoride to help fight cavities and tooth decay.
Use Fluoride To Fight Cavities
A long night of trick-or-treating and being up past their usual bedtime can lead to cranky kids. While it may be tempting to have everyone throw on pajamas and go straight to bed when you walk through the door, Halloween is the one night where you should prioritize flossing and brushing. Any time your child is enjoying candy or sweets, it’s extra important that they remove any leftover sugars from their teeth by using the powers of fluoride to fight cavities.
To prevent poor dental hygiene, your children should attend regular dental visits every six months starting at age one. If it’s been longer than six months since your last family checkup, call Premier Dental Center today to schedule cleanings and exams for everyone.