Tips for a Happy and Healthy Mouth after Halloween
Halloween is just around the corner and for most children (and some parents) that means consuming a lot of sugary candy and treats. While some candy is acceptable in moderation, there are a few ways that you can help your children keep their teeth healthy and strong, despite the challenge that Halloween might pose.
- Before trick or treating, make sure your child has a healthy, fulfilling meal. By doing this, your child may be less tempted to overindulge in sweets after completing their festivities for the night.
- If possible, allow candy only during a certain time of the day. For example, allow your child a small treat after dinner each night for a week. Keep the rest of the candy stored away or even better – throw it out.
- Believe it or not, some candy and treats are better than others. Candies that melt or dissolve quickly are less harmful to teeth than others because they remain in the mouth for a shorter amount of time. Hard, sticky candies that are chewed and sucked on stick in the grooves of the teeth and remain in your mouth for longer periods of time causing more damage. Some examples of these candies are suckers, gummies, and taffy. Try to avoid these types of candies as much as possible.
- Brushing your teeth after eating candy is always the best option for ridding your mouth of the harmful sugars and substances that cause cavities. If you are unable to brush right away, you can help reduce your chances for getting cavities by drinking or swishing with water and chewing sugarless gum. This helps by washing away some of the harmful sugars and substances that can cause cavities.
- As always, the best way to prevent cavities is to brush your teeth twice a day, and floss once a day. Make sure your child is using a toothpaste with Fluoride, which helps to keep the teeth healthy and strong and helps prevent cavities from forming. Children under the age of eight will need parental guidance to insure they are properly brushing and flossing.
- If you suspect your child might have a cavity, please visit the dentist right away. In many cases, waiting too long results in painful infections and more expensive and extensive treatment.