Halloween is right around the corner and we want to wish you all a Healthy Halloween! When all the excitement over costumes, candy and fun die down, don’t forget that your children’s teeth might need a little extra attention! Be sure to follow these simple tips with your young ones on this fun-filled night:
- Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste! Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn out toothbrush will not be as effective in cleaning your teeth adequately.
- Floss your teeth once a day! Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
- Have a Plan! It certainly is tempting to keep candy around, but your teeth will thank you if you limit your stash. Have your family pick their favorites and donate the rest!
- Time It Right! Eat Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals, which in turn helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria and rinses away food particles.
Chewy, sticky candies get stuck in the open grooves and crevices of your teeth and make it hard for saliva to wash them away, which in turn leads to tooth decay. If you are already prone to cavities, sticky candies will only worsen your decay rate.
Sour candies have high acidity content which breaks down tooth enamel, making teeth susceptible to sensitivity, breakage, and cavity formation.
Better choices include milk chocolate and snack-size packets of pretzels or crackers. These options are less sticky and do not have high acidity, therefore are less harmful to teeth than gummies, caramels or sour candies. It’s important to limit snacking overall because a child’s dental health depends less on what they eat and more on how often they eat it.
Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that can inhibit bacteria from sticking to the teeth. Therefore, this sweet will prevent infections of the gums and battles tooth decay.
Sugar-free gum made with xylitol promotes the growth of tooth-protective, non-acidic bacteria which can make it nearly impossible for bacteria and plaque to form.
We hope these tips will help you in preventing dental problems and allow you to enjoy some of those tasty treats on Halloween!