Halloween is approaching and ghouls abound! It’s a lot of fun . . . as long as the monsters aren’t in your kids’ mouths. Dr. Sahouria wants your little ones to enjoy all the fun of Halloween without hurting those great smiles.
Here are a few tips from us:
- Give away candy alternatives this Halloween – Kids love to find little toys among the candy and toys last longer. The American Dental Association came up with another fun replacement: a free video game! Check it out at www.stopzombiemouth.com
- Some candies are better than others – Sticky candies like gummy bears and jelly beans will easily get stuck between teeth in those hard-to-clean places. Sucking on hard candies exposes teeth longer to the sugar, which bacteria will feast on. Crunching on hard candies can damage fillings and other dental treatments. Sour candies can create strong acids that weaken tooth enamel. The “better” candies include chocolates, nougats, peanut butter, and other soft treats that don’t stick to teeth as long. Of course, sugar-free candies skip the sugars altogether and some sugar replacements even help prevent cavities (look for a future blog on this subject).
- Eat it with a meal – Right after a meal, there is more saliva in the mouth. This is a safer time to eat sweets because the increased saliva will soften and wash away the sugars a little faster. Drinking water afterwards is also a good idea.
- Better to have a pile of candy all at once –The acid producing, bacteria attracting, tooth decaying affect that candy has lasts for a few hours after eating it, no matter how much candy is eaten at a time. So it is better to eat a pile of it all at once than to spread it out throughout the day. It’s even better to brush your teeth after your candy binge!
- Keep meals balanced – When there is a lot of sugar around the house, make sure everyone is still eating balanced meals. Teeth, just like all the other bones in the body, need a good diet to grow strong and healthy.
- Brush and floss . . . We had to say it! Brushing and flossing gets the sugars and plaque off of the teeth. Using a fluoride toothpaste protects those teeth for the future. Think about adding a brushing session after any mid-day candy snacking.
Special thanks to our blog writer Susan Akers!