Is Halloween your favorite holiday? If so, you aren’t alone. The spooky season offers the opportunity for lots of fun, from crazy costumes to scary movies. Adults and children alike will indulge in frighteningly delicious treats, not to mention a bucket load of candy from trick or treating. Sugar overload may seem impossible to avoid over Halloween, but too much of the good stuff can be bad news – especially for our teeth! Excessive sugar consumption dramatically increases our risk of developing cavities, which in turn can lead to lots of other problems with our oral health. Fortunately, this month doesn’t have to end in a dental horror story. Here are our tips to reduce the risk of cavities around Halloween.
Staying in control of the stash is one of the most effective things you can do to keep cavities at bay this Halloween. Many kids (and some adults!) might be tempted to smuggle their stash of candy into their rooms but allowing this will mean you don’t know exactly how much they are eating. Since candy overload nearly always result in an upset stomach, this is to be avoided at all costs. You can also make sure that your child brushes their teeth whenever they’ve had a treat.
Brushing their teeth is the most important thing that your child can do to maintain their oral health and prevent cavities from forming. It doesn’t matter how much candy your child consumes; they should still take care to brush their teeth properly. Use a soft-bristled brush, a small amount of fluoride toothpaste and get them to work their way methodically across the teeth. Don’t let them brush too hard as this could damage the enamel of the teeth.
It’s never too late to learn to floss, but Halloween is an ideal time to teach your child how to perform this important oral hygiene practice. Flossing removes tiny food particles and bacteria from between the teeth so that plaque can’t form and cause decay and gum disease. Since it’s hard for a toothbrush to get into these gaps, flossing is the most effective way of doing this.
All Halloween treats are undoubtedly delicious, but they don’t all have the same degree of impact on your oral health. Hard, sticky and gummy candies can all cause problems, getting stuck in the teeth and potentially causing damage. You may be surprised to discover that chocolate is actually the preferred Halloween treat of dentists, since it doesn’t get stuck and can be cleaned away more easily than other varieties.
You really don’t need an excess of carbonated drinks on top of the abundance of candies you are enjoying. Water is the healthiest thing that you can drink, with experts recommending that you consume at least 8 glasses per day. Water is non-acidic and helps to wash away particles that may be clinging to the teeth. Every time you or your child have Halloween candy, be sure to drink a glass of water afterwards.
Sugar-free gum is actually very good for your oral health. This is because chewing helps to stimulate saliva production, and this helps to wash away food particles and sugars that could be increasing your risk of decay. Chewing gum following enjoying Halloween candy will be beneficial, especially if you can’t brush your teeth right away. Don’t give gum to your child unless you are sure it is safe to do so.
The best person to tell you how healthy your child’s teeth are is your pediatric dentist in Fort Worth at Fort Worth Children's Dentistry. Regular visits can ensure that their mouth remains healthy and free from cavities. If there are issues developing, your dentist can spot them early and arrange for treatment which will keep their mouth in tip top condition. Schedule an appointment after Halloween to check that their smile is still cavity-free.
For more advice on the best way to reduce the risk of cavities around Halloween, please call Fort Worth Children's Dentistry at (817) 569-6633 to speak to our expert dental team.