Halloween has become as synonymous with costumes as it has with candy, to the point where Americans spent a whopping $2.6 billion in buying candy in 2018. Unfortunately, this also meant that kids who go ‘trick or treating’ are more likely to develop dental issues such as tooth decay and cavities due to the sheer amount of sweets they get. Not only are these dental issues painful, but they can be potentially pricey depending on the extent of the damage. As such, parents need to take note of these dental health tips as Halloween draws closer:
All About Timing
Acid can wear down teeth enamel and cause tooth decay. And the longer and more frequent teeth are exposed to acid, the higher the risk of tooth decay and other issues. Sure, the amount of candy children eat can contribute to not only dental health issues, but other dietary problems, but it’s the frequency and timing of eating candy that does the most harm. Eating five pieces of candy throughout the day can potentially be more harmful to dental health than eating nine pieces of candy, three only after each meal. That said, only allow your child to chew their candy as dessert right after a meal; this limits the period in which their teeth are exposed to acid and sugar (which plaque bacteria use to produce acid).
Chuck Away the Chewies
Right after trick or treating, you must inspect and sort your kids’ haul. Make sure that all chewy candy, such as caramel and nougat, are removed from the pile. We talked about the duration and frequency of exposure of sugary treats and acid, and chewy candies (as well as those that take so long to melt like jawbreakers) can quickly get stuck on and between teeth and lengthen acid exposure. There will probably be some complaints, but you need to explain why chewy and long-lasting candy are bad, and emphasize that they still have a lot of other candies left to enjoy.
Brushing and Fluoride
You’ll want to be more strict and thorough with the tooth brushing while your kids’ candy stash is still filled. Make sure that your children follow proper brushing techniques and frequency, and also inspect their teeth to confirm that there’s no residual candy left that are stuck on or between them. You may also want to consider switching to toothpaste with fluoride if you don’t have one already. Fluoride has been tested and proven to prevent cavities and can be one of your best tools in protecting your kids from dental issues this Halloween.
Have a Plan B
There’s always a chance that your children can develop dental issues, no matter how careful you are with limiting their candy consumption this Halloween. After all, they can always get more candy from their friends at school, or sneak a few extras between meals. This is why it’s best to have a dentist ready in case your children suddenly complain about a sharp pain in their teeth/gums or if you notice other dental issues. So give your trusted pediatric dentist in Eagle Mountain a heads up and get their contact number so you can easily book an appointment as soon as any issues show up.
Halloween can be scary, and not just because of the costumes and the numerous horror films, but also because of the almost never-ending supply of candy your kids can have access to. So make sure to take note of these tips so your kids can keep their healthy smile this Halloween.