Halloween is a fun and festive time of year. But if you’re a parent, you may be worried about the effects that Halloween candy can have on your child’s oral health. Candy consumption can easily turn into cavities if you don’t take the right steps on All Hallow’s Eve.
So, how can you make sure your kids maintain healthy oral hygiene this year? Here are some top tips from our doctors at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry!
Your kids may want to hold onto their stash of candy after Halloween and control how they consume it. But this is a bad idea for a number of reasons. Excessive candy consumption can make your kid sick, and harm both their oral and general health.
You’re the parent, and you’re in control of candy consumption. Keep the candy somewhere your kids can’t get to it, and regulate how much they can eat at a time and when they can eat it.
For example, letting your kids have a few pieces of candy of their choice after each meal is a good way to regulate consumption, and still ensure they get plenty of sweet treats. Think about what may work for you!
Eating candy constantly throughout the day will result in elevated levels of sugar in your child’s mouth for hours at a time, which leads to cavities.
Don’t let your kids have a piece of candy every hour. Instead, give them a few pieces of candy to eat all at once, so that their saliva can start washing away the sugar, and keep their mouth healthy.
Even if it’s just for 30 seconds to a minute, a quick brush after eating candy will destroy bacteria and wash away sugar, keeping their mouths healthy. Mouthwash can also be a good addition if your kids are old enough to use it properly.
If brushing after every candy-eating session is impractical, the next best thing is sugar-free gum with xylitol. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, and helps wash away bacteria and sugar, and xylitol has anti-cavity effects that can help safeguard your child’s oral health.
Sticky and chewy candies, such as taffy, caramel, and other such snacks, are typically the worst for your child’s oral health. This is because the sticky sugar gets in the “nooks and crannies” and gaps in your child’s mouth. It can’t be removed easily, which contributes to cavities.
Hard candies like lollipops are also not good for your child’s oral health, because they often take a long time to eat, leading to prolonged, high levels of sugar in their mouths. Try to avoid these candies as much as possible.
Halloween can be a challenging time for your child’s oral health. But with these tips, you’ll be able to make sure you avoid tooth decay and cavities. And remember to schedule a post-Halloween preventative exam and teeth cleaning at Sea of Smiles Pediatric Dentistry!
You can contact us at (267) 392-5878 to get started, or visit one of our offices in Yardley, Bensalem, or Warrington for an in-person consultation. We’re always taking new patients, and we look forward to seeing you and your child for a check-up!