October 23, 2019
If there’s one thing that all kids love (and most adults if we’re being honest), it’s free candy. In fact, you’ve probably already bought yourself a big bag in preparation for all the kids who are going to be knocking on your front door and showing off their spooky costumes. If there’s one nightmare you should avoid though, it’s chronic tooth decay and cavities. If you want your child to avoid chronic tooth decay and cavities by the time the next holiday rolls around, consider these essential tips from a children’s dentist.
Moderate Sugar Consumption at Home
It’s bad enough that they are bringing more candy into the house, but your kids should not already be exposed to large amounts of sugar on a daily basis. For example, you should try to keep as much soda out of the house however possible. Do not leave out a bowl of candy for them to eat throughout the day as allowing them to snack on candy consistently rather than all in one sitting is actually more harmful to their teeth.
Screen Your Child’s Candy After The Night Ends
After they get back from trick-or-treating, go through their candy and remove any pieces that contain extremely chewy, sticky or hard properties. For example, taffy, licorice, gummies, or hard candies are all the worst offenders. Any chocolate should be fine for them to eat because it slides off of teeth relatively easily.
Consider Healthy Alternatives
When you do take away certain candies (which can be donated to dentists or other non-profit groups), swap them out for other fun items that may not even necessarily be candy. This could be temporary tattoos, stickers, non-toxic glow sticks, crayons, and other fun items and toys that you know your child will enjoy.
Manage Your Child’s Oral Care
After they’ve had a chance to enjoy their candy, it’s very important that they head to the bathroom and begin their oral care routine. This means brushing for at least two minutes at a time using a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing. They should be brushing twice a day and flossing at least once a day. The last thing you want is for the candy food debris to stay on their teeth, especially right before bed. Make sure they are practicing oral care every time they finish having a piece of candy.
Visit the Dentist Regularly
Finally, your child needs to be visiting the dentist at least once every six months for their exams and cleanings. These visits can make the difference between them having a healthy smile in time for a family holiday photo and them holding their mouth in pain because a cavity had a chance to develop.
Don’t let your child’s teeth get broken down due to Halloween candy. Keep these tips in mind this holiday season!
About the Dentist
Dr. E. Charles Beliveau earned his dental degree from the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. His goal is to help children of all ages achieve optimal oral health through detailed exams, cleanings, and other preventive dental treatments. To learn more about these services or schedule an appointment, you can contact him through his website.
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