October is finally here. Even though it hasn’t cooled down quite yet, if you’re like us, you’ve already dusted off all your Halloween decorations, ordered your kids’ costumes and are actively stocking up for the ultimate sugar rush! While we wouldn’t want to take a moment of fun away from the kiddos, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t heed warnings of what all those trick-or-treat delights (chocolate, sweet treats and hard candies) could mean with regard to your children’s teeth. One night of fun could leave your family living a real-time horror story complete with more cavities than the neighborhood haunted house. With that in mind, today we’ll discuss 4 tricks and treats for taking care of your kids teeth this Halloween so you can enjoy the holiday without fearing your next trip to your Raleigh dentist.
1. Candy Isn’t the Real Monster!
We’ve yet to meet a kid that doesn’t love candy, but candy isn’t the real monster when it comes to protecting your kids teeth this Halloween. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) when the bacteria in your mouth eats leftover food and sugars that have coated your teeth, they release a weak acid that contributes to the formation of cavities. Halloween night can quickly become bacteria’s favorite playground as families rush through dinner and then splurge on a feast of chocolate and skittles. It can be tempting to send the kids to bed without brushing or flossing, but we warn you that doing so could leave you with unfortunate consequences in the future.
2. Avoid “Sticky-Icky” Candies
This Raleigh Dentist isn’t going to tell you NOT to load up on candy – that’s just wrong! However, we do ask that you avoid food and candies that would be considered “sticky-icky” or hard. Sticky (including “fruit snacks”) and hard candies can easily get stuck on and in-between teeth, which take longer to be washed away by saliva and brushing. In fact, we’re seeing a drastic increase of young children with cavities resulting from too many fruit snacks from well-intentioned parents. As such, if you want to protect your kids’ teeth this Halloween, sort out all the “sticky-icky” candies that cause problems.
You may even want to consider swapping them out for a better treat. In fact, we’ve known many a family that has incorporated the legend of the “Switch Witch” into their Halloween festivities. In exchange for good behavior, your child’s Switch Witch (wink! wink!) turns some of the collected Halloween candy in to a gift (new book, toy, etc).
3. Simmer Down Batman!
While brushing and flossing is the best way to prevent cavities, brushing harder does not remove more leftover food (or candy) or the bacteria that loves to eat it any better than gentle brushing. Furthermore, gentle brushing is much better for your gums. So, if you have a tiny superhero in your family, make sure they don’t use their super human strength on their teeth this Halloween.
4. Fight Of Goblins, Ghouls and Cavities by Brushing and Flossing
Let your kid be a kid this Halloween, because after all Halloween is all about putting on your favorite costume and indulging on candy. And while eating too much candy (or anything for that matter) isn’t the best idea, a little candy isn’t going to ruin your child’s smile as long as they remember to brush and floss daily.
Whether your child dresses up as a ninja, princess, super hero or their favorite storybook character, there’s one thing we all have in common this Halloween. We all want to fight off cavities and keep our kids teeth healthy and strong. As such, if it’s been more than six months since you’ve seen the dentist, call Dr. Katherine E. Garrett and schedule your appointment. New patients are always welcome, and we are proud to provide dental care for your entire family. Don’t wait until you have a dental emergency, call our office today!