October 17, 2019
We’re well into October, and that means Halloween is fast approaching. For most kids, that means bags full of candy. If they’re not careful, it can also mean painful cavities! That’s why we’ve written this guide on Halloween candy tips to keep your and your child’s mouth healthy during this holiday.
Time It Right
If your little one is going to eat Halloween candy, make sure they eat it either just before or after a regular meal or snack. Whenever you eat, saliva production increases. Saliva is important because it washes away excess bits of food that can cause cavities when left behind and allowed to stick to the teeth.
Avoid Sticky Candy
Speaking of sticky things, you should try to avoid candies like gummies and taffy that can get stuck in the grooves of your pearly whites. These foods take longer for saliva to wash them away, so they increase your risk for getting cavities.
Cut Back on Snacking
Snacking in general is bad for your dental health, but especially around Halloween time. Having a bowl of candy around the house for constant snacking is bad news. The longer that sugar stays attached to your teeth, the more time that bacteria have to wreak havoc on your teeth and gums.
Have a Plan
Although it may be tempting to keep any leftover candy around the house until Christmas, your teeth will thank you if you get rid of most of your stash in the beginning of November. Have your kids pick out their absolute favorite candies and donate the rest to the less fortunate.
Drink Plenty of Water
Instead of loading up on sugar with beverages like juice or sports drinks, offer your child water. It does just as good a job refueling and rehydrating them, without all the harmful sugar being exposed to their teeth.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Make sure to keep some sugarless gum with you at all times, and pack some in your child’s lunchbox for them to chew after lunch. Since you can’t always brush your teeth in the middle of the day, chewing sugar-free gum is the next best thing. Chewing for about 20 minutes after a meal will increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, to wash out food particles and neutralize the acids contained in your food.
Visit Your Dentist
It never hurts to book a checkup with your dentist after Halloween. That way you child can get checked out for cavities and get a professional cleaning to undo any damage that their candy consumption has done.
While Halloween can be an enjoyable holiday, getting cavities is certainly no fun. Follow the tips listed above to minimize your kid’s chance of getting decay. That way their Halloween will be nothing but fun!
About the Author
Dr. C. J. Landry graduated from the LSU School of Dentistry in New Orleans in 1982 with his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree. Right after graduating, he opened his practice in Marrero, LA. He enjoys treating patients of all ages and watching little smiles grow up healthy right before his eyes. To learn more advice for a healthy Halloween, contact Dr. Landy here or at (504) 348-0080.
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