Tips to Protect Your Child’s Teeth During Halloween
Halloween is a mystical, spooky holiday, straight from the storybooks, enjoyed not only by children but by parents too. It’s a day when little pandas, superheroes, and fairy princesses roam the streets in search of tasty treats. It’s a day filled with the rustle of candy wrappers, the glow of jack-o-lanterns, and the shrieks of excitement. The adorable costumes your little ones wear, the photos you’ll take, and the memories you’ll make are priceless. However, amidst all this wonder, fun, and celebration, it’s important to remember that Halloween is also a time when your child’s dental health needs extra attention. Keep these ten Halloween dental health tips in mind as you and your children enjoy this magical day.
- Schedule a Dental Cleaning: It’s important to schedule a dental cleaning for your child after Halloween to ensure their teeth are thoroughly cleaned and any excess candy residue is removed. Remember that this is one of the busiest times of the year for pediatric dentists like Dr. Lara Saleh, at Dr Toothfairy! Book your appointment early to secure your preferred time slot.
- Avoid Hard Candies and Lollipops: Hard candies are one of the worst things your child can consume when it comes to dental health. Crunching hard candies can crack, chip, or break teeth! Keeping these treats in the mouth longer than other types of candy allows more time for bacteria growth and tooth decay. Even worse, hard candies can pose a choking hazard! With so many different types of treats out there, consider avoiding hard candy.
- Avoid Sticky Candies: Sticky candies like taffy, caramels, and gummy bears are some of the worst offenders when it comes to dental health because they stick to the teeth and can be difficult to remove with brushing alone. So, consider avoiding sticky candy as well!
- Brush After Eating Sweets: As we all know, Halloween is just one day but the treats often show up before and linger around afterward. This may provide opportunities to binge eat treats! Make sure your kids brush their teeth after eating any candy or treats during Halloween. This will help to remove any food particles, sugar, and plaque that may have built up on their teeth.
- Monitor and Regulate Treat Intake: It’s important for parents to monitor and regulate how much candy their children are consuming during Halloween. Too much sugar can harm your child’s teeth and overall health. Pro tip: older kids become very clever when it comes to their Halloween candy! Are they hiding candy? Ok, your children would probably never do this. However, many parents have learned that a quick look under the bed can improve the dental health of their children (and that of the family’s pet as well)!
- Drink Water After Eating Sweets: Drinking water helps wash away sugar and other bacteria that can cause tooth decay and cavities. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially after eating sugary treats like candy or chocolate bars.
- Chew Sugar-Free Gum: If and when allowed, chewing sugar-free gum can actually help reduce plaque buildup by increasing saliva production, which helps wash away food particles from the mouth naturally. Additionally, chewing gum may help reduce cravings for sugary treats, which can help protect against cavities caused by excessive sugar consumption.
- Eat Crunchy Fruits & Veggies: Eating crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, celery, carrots, and cucumbers can help clean plaque off of teeth naturally while also providing essential vitamins and minerals for overall health and wellness.
- Brush and Floss Teeth: Don’t forget the importance of daily brushing and flossing, especially during the Halloween season. Ensure your child is brushing their teeth for at least two minutes twice a day and flossing at least once a day to remove any food particles and plaque that can cause tooth decay. Combine this general recommendation with tip number four!
- Use Mouthwash Regularly: Using alcohol-free mouthwash regularly helps to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease over time.
Bonus Tip: This November, at your child’s Dr Toothfairy dental visit, exchange your Halloween candy for special fun items or cash! Contact our office for details.
Ask Dr Toothfairy For More Dental Health Tips
Halloween is such a fun and enjoyable time for you and your children. With these helpful tips and recommendations, you can keep your child’s teeth healthy during this spooky-sweet, candy-filled holiday. During this time, it’s especially important to keep up with daily oral hygiene habits and remember to schedule a visit to Dr Toothfairy for a professional cleaning and check-up from Dr. Lara Saleh. Have a safe and happy Halloween from Dr Toothfairy!