Here at Lapalco Family Dental, located in Marrero, LA, the health of our patients’ smiles is our number one priority! That means helping you get through the upcoming holiday season! Halloween is right around the corner, and it’s the “sweetest” holiday of the year.
But those sweets treats can cause problems for kids’ teeth (and yours, if you have a “sweet tooth”) if some basic rules of good oral hygiene aren’t followed. Those problems include tooth chipping or even breakage, loss of dental restorations, and dental plaque building up that can cause decay.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips for a healthy smile this Halloween season.
Tip #1: Avoid sticky and hard candies.
We know that can be tough to do since a lot of families still prefer to grab a handful of those wrapped candies and drop in them in the goody bags of costumed kids.
Hard candies can chip or actually break teeth if your child (or you!) bites down hard enough. And few people have the willpower to continue to let the candy dissolve in the mouth. Better to avoid hard candies than to risk a healthy tooth! And if you have dental restorations such as crowns or bridges, you’d be better off giving the hard candies a pass, too.
Sticky candies won’t threaten your kids’ teeth or yours with breakage, but they’re notorious for getting in between teeth where brushing won’t remove the sugary stuff. And, if you or someone in your family has a filling or two, you could be putting those fillings at risk with sticky candy. Some people have actually pulled out part or all of a filling!
Tip #2: Eat your candy with meals.
One thing about candy is that it’s addictive – almost literally so. It’s amazingly easy to dip into the goody bag between meals and before you know it, your children have eaten a third of what’s in there! And, that sugary stuff usually stays on the teeth and gums until bedtime, feeding the decay-causing plaque that’s trying to grow there.
Save Halloween candy as a special dessert for after dinner. That way, your kids won’t overeat and it’ll be just a few hours before they brush away the remains of their indulgence.
Tip #3: Don’t forget to brush!
This may sound like a “doh!” tip, but you’d be surprised how much the Halloween season disrupts people’s schedules. Your kids may attend Halloween parties and come back home bouncing off the walls. Or, they may sneak some of that delicious sugary stuff in spite of your best efforts.
That’s what makes regular brushing and flossing even more important at Halloween. There are way more temptations than usual out there, and the energy with which kids embrace the season (and candy!) can disrupt schedules. Make a special effort at this time of year to never let the kids go to bed without caring for their teeth.
Tip #4: Drink lots of water.
Water used to be known as the “universal solvent” because so many things dissolve in it. It’s not usually called that anymore, but it’s still true that sugars are water-soluble – given them enough exposure to water, and they’ll dissolve.
The more often your kids drink plain water during the season, the better chance that the residue from sugary over-indulgence will dissolve and wash away. And that can save you a lot of time, aggravation, and money down the road.
Tip #5: Maintain a healthy diet.
This might be the hardest of the 5 tips to follow at this time of year. We can probably all remember when we were kids and not wanting supper because we dug into the candy stash.
Growing children need a balanced, healthy diet just as much if not more as adults. The Halloween season requires parents to be ever-vigilant in not letting their children replace healthy meals with handfuls of candy.
A Check-up Might Just be a Good Idea
At Lapalco Family Dental, we appreciate the fact that so many of our families schedule regular checkups for themselves and their children. But with the negative effects of massive candy use on young teeth this time of year, why not schedule a quick checkup? If you have the slightest doubt about how well your child’s teeth have weathered the season, let us put your mind at ease.