Halloween is just around the corner, and children across the country will be trick-or-treating once more. Protecting your children’s teeth is essential, especially if they’ve already lost their baby teeth.
Here’s how to keep your kids’ teeth healthy, even with a new haul of sugary treats:
- Avoid sticky, hard or acidic candy: Cavities form when bacteria feed off sugar and food debris on your teeth, creating plaque. Plaque erodes tooth enamel, and without good oral health care, can lead to cavity formation. Avoid eating or passing out sticky, hard or acidic candy (like sour gummy candy). If you plan to hand out candy, spring for chocolate and other softer sweets. Sugarless gum is also a good alternative: it helps encourage saliva production, which removes food debris from your mouth.
- Have a plan for moderation: Before trick-or-treating, explain to your children that they won’t be able to eat all of their candy at once. Set limits and expectations ahead of time. For example, your family may allow a few “fun size” bars after dinner. Put the remaining candy in a place where children cannot access it, until it’s the next time for an after dinner dessert.
- Eat candy right after mealtime: Eating candy right after mealtimes can help kids avoid the temptation to gorge themselves later at night. Plus, the increased saliva production from the meal will help remove food debris.
- Drink plenty of water: Have your children drink water while they’re eating candy. It helps to rinse sugar away from teeth. It’s also a good idea to limit their juice, soda and other sugary beverage consumption – moderation is key!
- Brush and floss after eating candy: Make brushing and flossing part of the post-trick-or-treat routine. Anytime your kids eat candy, remind them to brush for two minutes and floss. Younger children may need extra assistance, but building this habit instills good dental health habits.
- Visit your Fioritto dentist: Finally, don’t forget to schedule your regular cleanings and checkups with your favorite Fioritto Family dentist! We’ll be happy to talk to your children about the importance of avoiding cavities—and how to enjoy their Halloween treats in a healthy way.
Staying on top of your child’s dental health can be challenging, especially during candy-focused holidays. Following these basic tips will ensure your kids get the best of both worlds: plenty of delicious treats, and the dental hygiene habits that will keep their teeth healthy for years to come.
Fioritto Family Dental provides a full range of dental services for the entire family. Give us a call today to schedule appointments for your children and yourselves!