Halloween isn’t just scary because of all the ghost stories and costumes, but also the real and actual risk of tooth decay and other teeth issues due to the copious amounts of sweets that are available for your children to munch on. A report from Sikka Software (a cloud-based app in dental offices) shows that around $800 Million is spent on emergency visits to the dentist because of Halloween. That said, we’ll be taking a look at tips to help you keep your children’s teeth healthy and safe from dental damage this Halloween.
Avoid Chewy and Hard Treats
Once you get home and you take inventory of your kids’ Halloween treat bag, it’s essential to sort out chewy candies such as caramels and other hard ones that stay longer in the mouth and stick to the teeth. Not only do they stay longer, but they’re also hard to brush off. You have to remember that the longer sugary treats remain in the mouth, the higher the risk of tooth decay. Your child may be against this, so it’s crucial that you explain to them carefully why theses hard and chewy treats aren’t healthy, and remind them that they can still eat the rest of the treats they’ve collected.
Fluoride is Your Friend
Fluoride is known to lower the risk of tooth decay significantly. As such, you’ll want to have toothpaste with fluoride handy during the Halloween season. Additionally, fluoridated water can also provide the same benefits, so have your child drink bottles of fluoridated water instead, especially during and after eating sweet treats. Lastly, older kids (ages 6+) can try using mouth rinses with fluoride to further protect their teeth from decay.
All About Timing
Timing plays a huge factor when eating sweet treats. Whenever one eats sweets, the acidity level in their mouth skyrockets, and if it’s done throughout the day, it can lead to a higher risk of tooth decay and other issues. So it’s best to time the candy-eating with or after mealtime, and don’t allow them to eat these treats before bedtime.
Know the Right Time to Brush
Speaking of timing, it’s also just as important to know the proper tooth-brushing schedule. You might already know by now that it’s recommended to brush 2-3 times a day (after each meal), to ensure that all food particles are removed after each meal and prevent not only tooth decay but also plaque and tartar buildup and bad breath. However, what most people don’t know is that it’s important to wait 30 minutes after the meal to brush teeth, this is because the acid in food can soften the enamel, and brushing too soon/too early can damage the enamel surface.
Make a Candy Bank
This isn’t only an excellent way to minimize candy consumption and reduce the risk of tooth decay, but can also be a lesson about moderation and responsibility. Make an inventory of all the Halloween candy collected, and put them in a “bank” (container) where your child can make daily withdrawals from during or after each meal. This helps you keep track of their sugar consumption, and also makes them aware of how much they’ve eaten.
Have A Backup Plan
However, no matter how much preventive measures you put in, there’s always the risk of decay. That said, your Plan B should entail having the contact information of a well-reviewed local dental clinic in Upland, CA that offers root canal service to save your child’s tooth (or teeth) from decay.
Halloween can be a scary time for your children’s teeth, but with these simple tips, you’ll be able to protect them from tooth decay (and also unhealthy weight gain).