There’s no question that Halloween and candy go hand in hand. It’s that time of year kids look forward to with great anticipation for tasty treats. However, for parents it can be an entirely different story. You want your kids to have fun dressing up and collecting candy, but how do you keep their teeth from suffering in the process? Not to worry. Here are a few Tips For Treats that will help make this Halloween more teeth friendly.
Eliminate the BAD candy – Candy that remains in your mouth for an extended period of time increases the risk of tooth decay. Taffy and hard candy are the top culprits. Why? Because bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar that sits on teeth. It then produces acid that causes decay. When sorting through your child’s candy, remove these types of candy right away.
Donate some candy – Although it is exciting to come home with a bag full of candy, there’s no rule that says you have to keep it all for yourself. This is a great time to encourage your child to share by keeping a small portion of the candy and donating the rest.
Schedule treat time – Tooth decay is not necessarily caused by the amount of sweets consumed, but the frequency in which they are consumed. Rather than letting your child snack on sweet treats throughout the day, set a specific time of the day for that. Directly after a meal is the best time as the mouth creates more saliva during meal times, which helps wash away the acid that causes tooth decay.
Brush and floss – Dentists recommend the 2×2 rule – Brush twice a day for two minutes. Floss at least once a day to get bacteria between teeth that tooth brush bristles can’t reach. Fluoride mouth rinse also helps prevent tooth decay and strengthens teeth. This routine is especially important after having sweet treats.
Drink water and chew gum – Drinking more water and even chewing sugar free gum with Xylitol will help get candy off the teeth and wash away acid, preventing tooth decay.
South Mississippi Smiles Dentists are MS Licensed General Dentists