Trick or Treat! It’s that time of year again, and before the night is over, your child will have dumped their candy bucket on the floor and started rummaging through its contents. If you’re being honest, you’ll probably take a swipe at a few of your favorite pieces, too. If you want to make sure their teeth remain healthy in the midst of the vast sugar rush, here are 4 Halloween candy tips to consider this holiday season.
Make Sure They Brush
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing are all vital parts of any oral hygiene routine, and just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean your child should forgo their morning and bedtime regimes. Make sure they brush for at least two full minutes before flossing and rinsing their mouth. Fluoride toothpaste will also be helpful, as it not only protects against tooth decay, but it also strengthens tooth enamel.
Give It Away
While this might sound harsh, we’re not saying donate all your child’s candy. Let them pick out their favorite pieces and then donate the rest to a charitable organization. Plenty of groups ask for candy donations to send to military personnel overseas, and more and more dentist’s offices offer a “take back” program that encourages children to donate their Halloween candy to their local dentist.
Avoid the Sticky Stuff
If your child’s favorite candies are gummy, sticky treats, this can be a tough one. Chocolate is a much better option, as it doesn’t stay on the teeth as long, but unfortunately, when chomping down on the sticky sweets, it can adhere to the chewing surfaces of their teeth and be a prime breeding ground for bacteria to feed off of and begin creating holes, also known as cavities. If possible, try to remove these items from your child’s Halloween bucket and let them have some of the other “not as bad” candy instead.
See Your Dentist
With a few months of sugar-filled goodies ahead, there’s no better time than now to schedule your child’s regular dental checkup and cleaning. Not only will this put their teeth and gums in better shape for the holidays, but your dentist can check for any problems that might be developing and begin to treat them as soon as possible.
Let your child enjoy the spooky holiday. It only comes around once a year, so yes, let them eat candy, but be mindful of how much. Eating their favorite sweets in moderation is fine, just be sure they’re taking care of their oral hygiene, so the scary tooth decay monster stays away.
About the Author
Dr. James Moreau graduated from the LSU School of Dentistry in 1980. Developing MoreSMILES as a preventative and advanced restorative practice, he helps patients with varying dental needs. Providing regular dental checkups and cleanings and offering valuable patient education, he and his team are equipped to give patients tips and techniques on how to care for their children’s teeth during this sugar-filled holiday season. To find out what you can do to keep your kids from coming down with a mouth full of cavities, please contact us at (985) 809-7645 today!