The beginning of fall is an announcement for trick or treat season. October is the month of Halloween. It is a much anticipated and festively celebrated holiday when kids don different costumes and go around asking for candy. Children look forward to Halloween as they not only get a chance to showcase their creativity by dressing up as different spooky characters but also get a huge share of delicious treats.
In 2018, $2.6 billion were spent on Halloween candy. Candy makes kids happy and energetic but excessive consumption and bad practices come at the cost of dental health. Sticky, chewy, and sugary candies are the primary cause of dental cavities and tooth decay. While we are all for enjoying Halloween and consuming delicious candy, at Icon Dental Center we believe that moderation and proper care should be practiced during Halloween.
Let us see what precautions can be taken to avoid dental problems to have a happy and cavity-free Halloween.
For a cavity-free Halloween, Choose Candy Wisely
- While all candy is bad, some are worse. You have to pick the lesser evil and stick with it. Sugar is the worst enemy for teeth. The amount of damage caused by candy to a tooth’s enamel is determined by its sugar content and for how long it stays inside the mouth. Avoid binge eating sticky sweets such as caramel, fruit snacks, and gummies. They stick to the grooves and pits of the upper molars.
Bacteria present inside our mouth start breeding on the candy stuck to our teeth. This interaction leads to the production of an acid that attacks the tooth’s enamel and destroys it, leaving behind cavities. Dentists recommend that honey candy, chocolate, and natural licorice are safer and healthier options compared to chewy candy. So steer clear of the gummy bears and focus on chocolates instead.
Eat Those Apples
- Regular consumption of apples is a natural cleansing mechanism for teeth. They are called ‘nature’s toothbrush’ as the hard and fibrous material of apple removes any traces of candy which may be stuck to the molars. Molars perform the chewing action for apples and cavity-causing debris is removed in the process of apple chewing.
Design a reward system for your kids. Tell them they will be allowed to have candy only if they agree to consume an apple every day or on alternate days. This precaution will save you from frequent runs to the dentist once the Halloween season is over.
Schedule the Candy Consumption
- Your kids can consume candy in moderation at the right times. Plan candy time after lunch. The saliva produced during mealtimes usually washes off the candy remnants and limits the chances of cavity development. If your kids are trick or treating at night don’t let them go out without dinner. If their stomachs are already full, their craving for candy will reduce and they won’t overload on it.
Giving candy to your kids at the right time can reduce the chances of developing dental ailments and let them have a cavity-free Halloween.
Brush and Floss Religiously
- Brushing and flossing are your guards against bits of stuck up food and bacterial infestation. They should be practiced all around the year but with special focus and zest around Halloween season. Just like eating apples, create a reward system for your children.
Tell them they will receive the promised dose of candy if they brush their teeth and floss them religiously twice a day. Use a fluoride-rich toothpaste to strengthen the teeth. Flossing helps remove pieces of food that the mechanical action of brushing fails to do. So don’t go soft on it either.
Icon Dental Center has offices in Everett and Seattle. Consult them if your kids develop any dental ailments. They offer topnotch services for children’s dentistry.