It’s safe to say that Halloween is spooky enough – without the thought of having cavities filled at the dentist! While your children might be concerned with choosing the perfect costume, you might be more concerned about all the candy they’ll be eating. But no matter how many bags of candy your children get this year, you’ll be glad to know there are some easy ways to help them enjoy their “haul” – without getting cavities. Keep reading for 7 tips that everyone in the family can use to make sure their smiles stay healthy this Halloween!
1. Be Aware of Timing
It’s best if children eat a piece or two of candy after a meal instead of snacking on it throughout the day. When it comes to getting cavities, it’s not only the amount of sugar exposure, but also the frequency that counts.
In fact, it’s helpful to remember the following saying: “Sip all day, get decay.” Whether sipping or chewing, it’s best to consume anything sweet in one sitting, rather than spreading it out over the day.
2. Choose Wisely
The longer something sweet remains in the mouth, the more damage it can do. That’s why it’s a good idea to minimize or avoid the following kinds of candy as much as possible:
- Anything sticky like gummies, taffy or caramel
- Hard candies that take a while to dissolve
- Sugary gum
3. Reach For Water
Encourage everyone in the family to reach for water after eating anything sweet. In addition to helping you stay hydrated, it also washes away plaque and residual sugars that contribute to cavities.
4. Avoid Sugary Beverages
When there’s so much Halloween candy around, it’s a good idea to avoid beverages like soda or juice (and even coffee with sugar for adults!)
5. Chew the Right Kind of Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum after eating candy is a wonderful way to reduce the risk of cavities. It works by stimulating salivary flow, which not only washes away food debris and plaque, it also neutralizes the acids that cause tooth decay.
6. Focus on Good Hygiene Habits
It’s always important to do well with brushing and flossing, but it’s extra-important during Halloween or any holiday where candies, desserts and other sweet treats are on the menu!
7. Schedule a Checkup
Good brushing and flossing along with regular visits to a dentist form the foundation of good oral health. In addition to getting a professional cleaning, these visits are a chance to get preventive treatments like fluoride that prevent decay by strengthening the teeth.
Regular checkups are also important so that any cavities can be detected as early as possible, when they’re small and easy to fix.
Dressing up and getting Halloween candy is such a fun part of childhood. With these tips and tricks for preventing cavities, you can make sure it stays that way!
About the Author
Dr. Drew Vanderbrook is a family dentist and also a father of two. He knows how much his family enjoys this time of year and wants to help everyone enjoy Halloween to the fullest, while still maintaining a healthy smile. If you have any other questions about your child’s oral health, he can be reached via his website or at (214) 821-5200.