October is officially here – and do you know what that means? Halloween is right around the corner! Children everywhere look forward to dressing up in costumes and trick-or-treating around the neighborhood, only to return home with big bags of free candy. Unfortunately, the sugar-filled holiday makes tooth decay a serious risk for your little one. But don’t worry – here are five ways your child can remain cavity-free this season.
Be Choosy About Treats
Everyone knows that candy can have detrimental effects on teeth. However, it may surprise you to learn that some types are far more damaging than others. It’s a good idea to avoid sweets that last a long time in your mouth, such as sticky, gummy, sour, and hard candies. The longer your teeth are exposed to sugar, the more time bacteria have to produce harmful acids. So, while your child sorts through their stash, encourage them to keep only the least damaging treats (i.e., chocolate and sugar-free options).
Time It Carefully
After collecting a stockpile of treats, your child may want to snack on their Halloween candy all day. However, doing so is far more harmful than eating plenty of sweets in one sitting. With that said, it’s best to let your little one eat candy during or shortly after mealtime. Otherwise, snacking on sweets throughout the day will only increase their risk of developing cavities.
Avoid Sugary Drinks
The holiday season brings endless opportunities to indulge in sweet foods. You can help your child avoid extra sugar by encouraging them to drink as much water as possible. Popular drinks like Kool-Aid, soda, and juice contain unhealthy amounts of added sugar, which can ruin their teeth. Not only is water hydrating, but it has the added benefit of washing away residual sugars after eating a sweet treat!
Have a Plan to Limit the Stash
Before you go trick-or-treating, have a plan in place to limit the stash of candy in your house. For example, you can allow everyone to keep a select number of sweets and donate the rest to an organization. Another option is to limit the number of houses your child visits. You can also allow your little one to trade the bulk of their candy for a non-candy prize. Either of these methods will help keep the candy in your house to a minimum, preventing the urge to snack on them every day.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
On Halloween night, the last thing your child may want to do is brush and floss their teeth. However, these practices are crucial for maintaining good oral health – especially during the holidays. Before they go to bed, remind them to follow their nightly oral hygiene routine to keep their mouth healthy!
Don’t let Halloween leave a lasting impression on your child’s smile. With these tips, you can help your little one avoid cavities while still enjoying this frightening holiday to its fullest!
About the Practice
At Barefield Pediatric Dentistry, we’ll always go the extra mile to ensure your child receives the dental care they deserve. Our highly skilled and knowledgeable team has plenty of experience working with children of all ages. We’ll do everything possible to help your little one maintain a happy, healthy smile for life. To learn more about preventing cavities this Halloween, visit our website or call (972) 298-7560.