How to Have a Tooth Friendly Halloween
According to USA Today, Americans are expected to spend approximately $2.7 billion on Halloween candy this year. While indulging in sweets every once in a while is okay, make sure your child continues to brush their teeth and follow our other tips for how to have a tooth-friendly Halloween.
Eat Halloween Candy with Meals
While it may seem weird to think about, the saliva in your mouth is responsible for washing away food particles after you eat. Your mouth produces more saliva when you eat a full meal (as opposed to snacking), which is why we recommend having children eat Halloween candy with meals. For example, you could tuck a chocolate bar into your child’s school lunch or ask them to pick out their favorite sweet to eat with dinner.
Did you know that how long a candy stays in your mouth affects the extent of tooth decay? Since hard candies sit in your mouth for longer periods of time, more sugar dissolves in your saliva and washes over your teeth. Sticky candies like gummy bears and caramel can also stick to teeth and provide food for cavity-causing bacteria. Being picky about the types of candy you bring into the home can help prevent tooth decay.
Drink More Water
Make sure your kids drink plenty of water as they work through their candy stash. Water helps wash away any food particles left on your child’s teeth after eating candy. Also, make sure that the water your child drinks is fluoridated.
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel so it’s less vulnerable to dental plaque and bacteria. While you want to make sure your child drinks plenty of fluoridated water, make sure you also limit sugary drinks like pop or even fruit juice.
Brush and Floss Teeth Daily
It can be easy for children to forget to brush their teeth during the excitement of Halloween. Make sure that they continue their oral hygiene routine for children so that they can come in to their next pediatric dental appointment with a mouth free of cavities. As a Grand Rapids pediatric dentist, it is always our goal to make sure children and their parents know how to maintain healthy teeth during the holidays.
Remember Your Dentist Appointment
We recommend our patients see our children’s dentist every six months so that we can detect cavities before they turn into a big problem. Make sure you keep your child’s dentist appointment after Halloween so that we can make sure there’s no beginning signs of tooth decay. While tooth decay after Halloween is always a concern, we have found that maintaining good oral hygiene and visiting the dentist is more than enough to keep the cavities away.
Dr. Brett Kingma DDS at Kingma Pediatric Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients maintain beautiful healthy smiles. If you are interested in setting up an appointment for a teeth cleaning, dental exam, or other pediatric dental services, be sure to call our pediatric dentist in Grand Rapids at (616) 942-9840.