With Halloween on the way, we want to remind parents to be careful of their child’s candy consumption. As dentists, we know that sugars and starches left in the mouth attract harmful bacteria. These bacteria form digestive acids that gradually break down teeth to create cavities. Children are more prone to developing cavities due to their diet and oral health habits. As your pediatric dentist in Worcester, MA, we want you to be prepared to prevent cavities and other related oral health problems this Halloween.
Halloween Dental Tips From Your Pediatric Dentist in Worcester
Your child doesn’t need to avoid candy and Halloween treats to keep their teeth and gums healthy. Moderation, hydration, and a good oral hygiene routine ensure that your child enjoys Halloween without increasing the risk of oral health problems.
On Halloween and during Halloween parties during the month, follow these tips to make sure that your child doesn’t develop cavities:
Pick Different Types of Candies
Hard and sticky candies like lollipops and caramels can damage teeth or get stuck in braces and between each tooth. It can be very difficult to remove these types of candies, and they can stay in the mouth, attracting bacteria that contribute to tooth decay and gum disease. Sour candies are acidic; eating too many acidic foods can potentially wear down the tooth enamel, or the outer layer of teeth, over time. Avoiding these candies can help make it easier for your child to clean their smile.
Make Sure Your Child Drinks Water
Drinking enough water helps increase saliva production, which in turn helps wash away debris left from food and drinks in the mouth. Water also prevents dry mouth, increasing the risk of bad breath and tooth decay. If your child drinks juice or soda this Halloween, ensure they drink water. Sugary and acidic drinks can coat the teeth and gums, contributing to bacterial buildup if not properly removed.
Have Dinner Before Trick-Or-Treating
Eating a meal increases the amount of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is key to helping wash away sugars, starch, and acidic foods. Eating candy after a meal will increase the chance of saliva protecting your child’s teeth from cavities.
Brush and Floss After Eating Candy
Once your child is finished eating their Halloween treats for the night, make sure that they brush and floss. Flossing is particularly important to remove sugars and starches from between teeth. After your child flosses, make sure they brush their teeth for two minutes. Brushing in circular motions will help remove bacteria thoroughly from each tooth.
Remember: Moderation is Key
Your child can enjoy candy without overdoing it. If your child has candy left, ensure they don’t eat all of it in one sitting. Additionally, if there are candies that your child does not want, you can donate them to a candy drive.
Do you need more tips for this Halloween? Has it been some time since your child’s last dental visit? Call Children’s Dental Specialties at (508) 625-5534. You can also schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Daniel Moheban online.