Each Halloween, the streets are full of costumed kids trick-or-treating. And not long after, it’s the dentist’s door that receives a knock.
Halloween means bags full of sugary sweets, but it doesn’t have to mean a mouth full of cavities. Follow the tips below to learn how your child can avoid a cavity this Halloween while still enjoying everything the holiday has to offer.
Eat Halloween candy with meals
Saliva is a natural defender against the sugary food particles and bacteria that lead to cavities. Saliva production heightens during meal time. Have your children indulge in some Halloween candy only after eating a regular meal to ensure they’re eating it with a healthy amount of saliva to help cancel out some of the effects.
Avoid long-lasting candy
Hard candy that stays in your mouth for an extended period of time brings about an increased risk of cavities due to longer exposure. Instead, stick with candy that is simply chewed and swallowed in order to limit the amount of time that it’s actually in the mouth.
Avoid sticky candy
The residue from sticky candy like taffy, gummies, and caramel clings to the teeth long after you’ve swallowed and takes longer to wash away by saliva or brushing. Have your children avoid the types of candy that are especially sticky.
Ration it out
Instead of letting your child binge-eat on Halloween candy, allow them just a couple pieces per day so as to not overwhelm their teeth with sugar. Better yet, allow them to pick out a specified number of pieces and then donate the rest.
There are many organizations that collect Halloween candy and donate it to overseas troops or underprivileged kids. There are even candy buyback programs where kids can trade candy for cash.
Replace sugary drinks with water
Set a compromise with your kids this Halloween: They can eat candy if they give up the sugary beverages like soda, sweet tea, and artificial juice. Sugary drinks combined with candy will only increase the risk of a cavity, and drinking water (especially water that contains flouride) is a great way of washing out harmful bacteria from the mouth.
Schedule a Post-Halloween Cleaning
One final way to help your children avoid cavities this Halloween is to schedule a post-Halloween cleaning. A professional cleaning can rinse away all the cavity-causing bacteria that everyday brushing and flossing often can’t.
Follow the tips above, and schedule an appointment today to keep your child from having a scary looking smile this Halloween.