Are your little ones excited about Halloween? We bet they can’t wait to put on their costume and get out there for a scary good time! Not to mention all the sweets and treats they are sure to collect! And while Halloween is a fun time of year, it can be a bit of a nightmare for teeth. Luckily, with a few simple tricks, treats don’t need to be scary for their oral health. Read on and discover how to prevent tooth decay while still enjoying the occasional sweets.
Moderation is key to preventing tooth decay
Tooth decay is the destruction of your tooth’s enamel. This is not an age-specific problem but can affect children, teens and adults alike. When you consume food or drinks that contain sugar, the bacteria in the plaque on your teeth produces acids. These, in turn, attack tooth enamel and lead to decay. The first step in preventing tooth decay is moderation. Monitor the amount of candy your children eat. For example, try sharing a treat after a meal. Having a sugary treat after a meal is better as the amount of saliva in the mouth will help protect teeth. Furthermore, children respond well to schedules so establish a set time when your child is allowed to have a treat.
Enforce a good oral health routine to protect against tooth decay
Make sure your children brush and floss teeth after eating sugary treats and candy. This will help protect their teeth from decay caused by foods that are high in sugar. However, if they do not have access to a toothbrush or floss, give them some sugarless gum. This will produce more saliva in the mouth, which in turn will help protect their teeth. Rinsing with a glass of water is also important as it will wash away some of the sugar and acids.
Regular brushing and flossing should always be part of their daily oral health routine.
Use a smaller trick or treat bag
Sometimes simple things like a smaller trick or treat bag can help limit your child’s sugar intake. Furthermore, limiting trick or treating time and switching non-favorite treats for stickers, small games and so on can be an effective way to enforce moderation. For example, try trading hard candy, lollipops or toffee for a fun Halloween-themed toothbrush. These treats are especially damaging to teeth because they stay in the mouth longer.
Calcium is a great way to fight tooth decay
Have a glass of milk or some cheese after a meal or snack. The high-calcium content in cheese is especially good because it helps buffer the acids produced by oral bacteria. Additionally, it can remineralize areas that already have tooth decay. And, of course, cheese is nutritious!
Does your trick-or-treater wear braces?
If your child wears braces some candy or treats should be avoided as they can get stuck. These include tortilla chips, toffee, hard candy, caramel, nuts and popcorn. However, they can enjoy other yummy treats like chocolate.
Many of us have a sweet tooth. By following the simple tricks above, you can prevent tooth decay and still enjoy eating sweets and treats. Remember to always brush and floss regularly (not just at Halloween), and schedule a dentist check-up every six to nine months. Contact the Clinique dentaire Fortin Poirier today to book your next appointment.