Now that we are immersed in the spooky season, that means all sorts of exciting activities are awaiting you and your family. This includes carving pumpkins, putting together fun costumes, and eating heaps of candy. However, there is a downside to Halloween time, and that is cavities. No one, especially not children, want to be spending extra time in the dental chair having cavities filled. Continue reading to learn some tips to help your family enjoy the season without ending up with a mouthful of cavities.
Careful Candy Selection
As for Halloween candy, some sweets are more harmful than others. It’s important that you’re choosing candy carefully so your child’s teeth don’t end up with shambles. Consider how long each sweet spends in their mouth. For example, sucking on hard candies for several minutes is more harmful than chocolate that will wash away in a matter of minutes.
Have a Candy Plan
While it can be tempting to keep a candy stash around, it will be incredibly difficult for your child to resist. Have each member of your family choose a few of their favorites. For the rest, you have a few different options. Either store it someplace out of reach for a later date or find out where you can donate it. You could even come up with a plan to have your kids trade in their candy for a sugarless treat.
Encourage Excellent Dental Hygiene
Remind your family to brush twice and floss at least once a day. Always purchase fluoridated toothpaste and replace brushes every three months or when the bristles start to fray. If you kids aren’t already on track for regular cleanings and checkups, there is no better time to get started!
Time Candy Consumption
If your child is going to enjoy some sweets, it’s best for them to have it during or directly after a meal. This is when your saliva production increases and helps to neutralize the harmful effects of sugar in the mouth.
Pretty much every part of the body needs water to function properly, and that includes the mouth. Staying hydrated ensures that there’s a sufficient amount of saliva flow in the mouth to wash away harmful acid and bacteria.
Your family doesn’t need to give up any Halloween fun to keep their smile healthy. By using the tips listed above, your children can enter the holiday season, cavity-free!
About the Author
Dr. Andrew Calhoun earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from the University of Florida College of Dentistry where he specialized in endodontics. He completed his endodontic residency at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Dentistry. Currently, he is a proud member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, and American Association of Endodontists. For more information or to schedule an appointment at his office in Jacksonville, visit his website or call (904) 262-9466.