Halloween is right around the corner! For most children, it?s a fun and exciting time of trick-or-treating and piles of free candy. For parents and dentists, this haunted holiday can signal oral health concerns from the sheer amount of sugary candy being presented to children.
But Halloween doesn?t have to be something for parents or dentists to dread! With these tips, children can enjoy Halloween treats while learning important oral health habits that they can use all year long.
Avoid hard candy
- The length of time food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Hard candy usually stays in your mouth for a longer period of time, subjecting teeth to prolonged acid attack, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Chocolate is better than stickycandies
- The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk of tooth decay and cavities. Chewy treats and hard candy are particularly damaging because they spend a prolonged amount of time stuck to teeth and are more difficult for teeth to break down. Sweets like chocolate that quickly dissolve in the mouth and can be eaten easily lessen the amount of time sugar stays in contact with teeth.
Drink more water
- Consuming water with fluoride will help prevent tooth decay and wash away the debris from the candy that could cause cavities. Avoid beverages with added sugar such as soda and sports drinks. Your kids will already be consuming copious amount of sugar; don?t add on to it with sugary drinks. Serve water at your Halloween party!
Store candy in a secret place
- Don?t leave candy around the house after Halloween. Store it in a hidden place out of kids? reach!
Set a time limit on the treats
- Time is of the essence when it comes to teeth and sugar. If not removed by brushing, swishing, sugar will increase the likelihood of cavities. Stock up on candy for trick-or-treaters as close to Halloween as possible to avoid the temptation for children (and adults) to get a head start on the splurge. Get rid of the post-Halloween stash as soon as possible!
Regardless of the season, you should always brush and floss everyday and visit Krengel Dental to help protect your teeth year-round!