It’s no surprise to anyone that Halloween is one of the most favorite holidays by children all across the United States. Free candy just for dressing up? Children couldn’t ask for a better holiday if they tried (other than one celebrated in December of course.)
Despite all the excitement, it’s important to note that more candy means a much higher chance of cavities. Considering children are already at higher risk of decay, take note of these 5 tips from a local dentist on how to protect their smile by next year.
Know When to Eat Candy
When your child wants to eat candy over the next few weeks, make sure that they’re only doing so after a meal. The mouth produces more saliva during and after a meal, which means your child’s mouth will be better equipped to fight off bacteria outside of their oral care routine. The higher their saliva production, the less acidic their mouth will be. Furthermore, make sure that they aren’t snacking on candy throughout the day, as this is a sure way to increase tooth decay.
Stay Picky with Your Candy
When it comes to the worst types of candy for teeth, you’ll want to tell your children to limit their consumption of candy that is:
These types of candies are far more likely to contain more acidic ingredients and stay in the mouth for longer, allowing bacteria to thrive. Instead, opt for chocolate bars, which are much easier to rub off teeth. Just make sure they aren’t full-sized bars!
Hide Their Stash or Donate
While they may have worked hard for their candy, it’s unlikely that your child will be able to have any self-control for the sweets. You can either limit how much candy they eat on a regular basis or you can have them pick and choose which candy they want the most and donate the rest. Ask the local dentist for recommendations of non-profits to donate extra candy too.
Keep a Healthy Diet
Drinking more water in general will keep the mouth moist, but make sure your child drinks fluoridated water as well. This works to strengthen and protect enamel throughout the day. Chew sugar-free gum as well in between meals to improve saliva production and remove food debris stuck in teeth. Always keep a balanced diet high in foods that promote good oral health, including leafy greens, dairy products, and antioxidants. Stay away from surgary beverages like soda, sweet tea and sports drinks.
Maintain Good Oral Care Habits
Making sure to brush twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily is especially important during the holidays. Visit the dentist once every six months for a thorough cleaning and examination.
With these tips in mind, your child’s smile will be free of decay and ready for holiday pictures! To learn more tips, schedule an appointment!
About the Author
Dr. Alex Martin earned his DDS degree from Creighton University’s dental school. Since then, he’s taken the time to continue his education and educate young patients on the best habits to protect their teeth. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.
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