Parents might find it hard to deny their little one the heaps of sweets around Halloween, but the good news is, is that candy can be enjoyed in moderation by following up with proper dental cleaning.
Cavities are certainly spooky this time of year, so our favorite family-friendly dentist, Dr. Kevin Sandefer of Alon Dental Care, wanted to share a few tips on how you and your children can maintain a healthy smile this Halloween season.
In following these tips, you can ensure that your little one’s teeth stay strong, even as they enjoy some of the treats Halloween has to offer.
5 Tips That’ll Make Halloween Less Scary for Teeth
The best thing you can do for your child’s dental health is to make sure their oral hygiene is in tip-top shape. This starts with a nutritious diet and ends with proper cleaning and routine dentist check-ups–at least twice a year.
After your child has returned to your haunted home with a mound full of delicious delights, it is best to monitor candy consumption and allow them to eat one once and a while. This can help to prevent a toothache, a sugar-rush, and an upset stomach.
The following tips can help you maintain your child’s dental health during, and after, Halloween:
- Pace your sugar intake – Eating meals helps to generate salivation, which neutralizes the acidity in the mouth. Consume sweet treats between meals, to wash away any candy gunk that bacteria eats to cause tooth decay.
- Eat fewer snacks – Cavities are more likely to occur if you are constantly snacking. Candy is dense in sugar and calories. It is best to limit the amount of candy you eat by making a swap for a healthier alternative or to soothe a hungry stomach with timely, nutrient-dense meals instead.
- Avoid the sticky candy – It is important to limit sugar intake, but even more necessary to avoid treats that get lodged in the teeth easily. Since the remnants of sticky or hard candy are more difficult to wash away with saliva or water, the lingering sugar can feed bacteria to wear away enamel through acid secretion and cause cavities.
- Drink more water – Drinking water flushes toxins and waste from the body and helps us stay hydrated. It also washes away excess food particles. Make sure to serve your little one a cup of water while they are enjoying a sweet treat.
- Schedule regular dental visits – Early detection of decay or cavities helps to prevent serious dental issues from arising. You and your child can both benefit from seeing the dentist, whether it be for a check-up, cleaning, or necessary dental work.
Make a Halloween Treat Swap
Traditional Halloween candy is super sweet, sticky, and chewy. There are some that you should avoid at all costs and others that cause less damage.
The majority of these cavity-making candies can stick to your teeth, making it best to avoid at all costs:
- Sour candy
- Bubble gum
Treats that are less spooky for your teeth include:
- Popcorn balls
- Milk chocolate
- Candy bars with nuts
You can even get creative and make your own healthy version of Trick-or-Treats. Keep these healthier sweets in mind:
- Dark chocolate
- Plaque-erasing, sugar-free gums
- Sugar-free candy
Visit Your San Antonio Family Dentist, Dr. Kevin Sandefer, Before the Frightful Festivities
Dental decay is frightening. Don’t let sugar-bacteria sludge scare away your child’s dental enamel and strength. By limiting sweet consumption and cleaning your children’s teeth with proper brushing and flossing techniques–at least twice a day for brushing, once a day for flossing–you can combat creepy cavities.
Cavities make for increased tooth sensitivity and irritability. We here at Alon Dental Care want to avoid your child’s discomfort and the extensive dental work that would be necessary to remedy such dental concerns.
Remember to have a fun and safe Halloween, and enjoy a sweet bite to eat every once in a while if you please! A little candy here and there will be less harmful in the long run, but always follow up with nutritious food choices and good oral hygiene habits thereafter.