With Halloween coming up, kids are busy deciding what scary creature they want to be or which favorite TV character costume to wear. But parents thoughts may be on something a little more important- what are they going to do with all that candy? Halloween can be a lot of fun for kids, but sometimes it ends up being a lot of stress for parents. Fortunately there’s a solution. Here are some tried and true dentistry tricks that South Charlotte Dentistry suggests to keep kids’ teeth safe this Halloween.
1. Sort. Sort a child’s loot into different categories. Put hard candies and others that remain in the mouth at length in one pile, gummies and other sticky candies in another pile, and all other candy in a third pile. Advise kids to eat the hard candies sparingly, they stay in the mouth for long periods of time. This allows bacteria time to feed on the sugars that are coating the child’s mouth. Gummies should be eaten sparingly as well, because that type of candy sticks to the teeth and attracts bacteria that create cavities.
2. Eat candy. That’s right! Tell kids to eat their candy, all of it, in as few sittings as possible. When candy is eaten all in one sitting, it only has one night to cling to the teeth and allow cavity-causing bacteria to attack. If kids spread their candy out over time, they allow the bacteria to attack teeth over time, giving a regular dose of cavity causing bacteria. Get back to fruits and other, healthier sweets as soon as possible.
3. Eat candy with other food. If the child must spread their candy out over a period of time for other reasons, such as health or hyperactivity, have the child eat their candy with meals. Candy sweets should be eaten with other foods because of the increased salivation during meals. The saliva produced while eating can help wash away bacteria.
4. Drink water. Another way to wash away bacteria is to drink water while eating candy. This is a really good way to help kids keep their mouths cavity-free. Make sure that when the child is eating their candy they have a glass of water with them and regularly sip it between pieces of candy. Don’t give kids soda or other sugary drinks while eating candy. The sugar in the drinks will increase the production of cavity-causing bacteria, unlike water which decreases it.
5. Chew sugar-free gum. If there isn’t any sugar-free gum, get some, and have the child chew the gum after eating candy. Chewing gum increases saliva production which can wash away the cavity-causing bacteria. But make sure it is sugar-free. Sugary gum is just as bad for a child’s teeth as candy.
6. Brush, floss, and rinse! Make sure kids go through a full and thorough oral routine on Halloween night. After consuming a mass of candy it is important that kids brush their teeth, floss, and use mouthwash before going to bed. This is because kids need to make sure they get any residual candy and sugar out of their mouths so that the sugar does not stay in the mouth and attract cavity-causing bacteria over time.
If kids can stick to these six tips to keep their teeth healthy this Halloween, there is no reason they can’t also enjoy the spoils of their trick-or-treating escapades! Just make sure to stop by and see Dr. James A. Wells at South Charlotte Dentistry and get a thorough dental checkup. Call Dr. Wells at 705-759-0908 or visit the website at www.southcharlottedentistry.com