Fall into October and get ready for a Spooktacular Halloween. This is one holiday that many children look forward to all year. Families pick and decorate pumpkins, some wear costumes and end the night with trick or treating.
Trick or treating can be a lot of fun, but we understand many parents worry about the effect large amounts of candy can have on teeth, especially little ones!
We know families don’t stop at just one sugary treat on Halloween and that’s okay! As long as you maintain proper dental hygiene, your teeth will be happy and healthy too. To help you out, we’ve decided to offer you a few recommendations and tips for how to be cavity-free this Halloween.
Before you start your Halloween Activities
Make a plan! Set candy rules. Kids are often okay with rules as long as they know them in advance. If you set a candy limit, follow it.
The best time to eat candy is after a meal, so if you can plan your candy fun around a meal, you’re doing yourself a favor. Salvia production increases while we eat and helps counteract the harmful bacteria.
If you are going out at night, be sure to be bright! A light-up necklace, glow sticks, or reflective tape can be the difference between safe and injured.
During the night
While you are out trick or treating it is important to practice proper road safety. Obey all traffic laws and stay close to children on busy roads. Be aware of your surroundings and always look both ways before crossing.
Now onto the important part: candy! Be mindful of which candy you eat as each can affect your teeth differently.
Sticky and gummy candies can be messy and harder to clean off not only fingers but also your teeth. Sour candies tend to be very acidic, that’s why you pucker! However, that acid can break down the enamel on your teeth, making them more prone to cavities. Candy doesn’t have to be harmful to your teeth if you practice moderation.
Chocolate is your best bet on a happy Halloween. Not only is it sweet, but it washes off your teeth easier than other candies. Baked goods, gelatin treats, fruits, ice cream, and yogurt are also good treats too!
Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth clean between candy breaks. This helps keep those sugars off your teeth.
If you’ve made a candy plan, be sure to stick to it. Everything is good in moderation and candy is no exception.
Unsure of what to do with all that candy? If you don’t want to eat it all, we understand and can help point you in other directions. Try a candy switch in your house, trade candies for prizes such as books or small toys. You can also donate your candy to appropriate organizations to help give out candy to others.
It can be tempting to just go to bed after such a fun night, but this is the one night you should prioritize brushing and flossing.
Your mouth is full of good and bad bacteria. Those harmful bacteria love candy as much as you do! While they eat the left-over sugar in your mouth, they produce acids that contribute to the formation of cavities, so it is super important that on a big night such as Halloween that you remember to brush and floss!
Don’t forget when you brush your teeth, to brush for two minutes twice a day. Flossing is just as important as it cleans those areas between your teeth that toothbrushes can’t reach.
For tips on how to keep your family cavity-free this Halloween, contact us at Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center.