16 Oct Tricks for Treats – Teeth Survival Tips for Halloween
Halloween is coming, and we all know what that means. Sugar, sugar, and more sugar. If teeth could cringe they would cringe at the approach of Halloween. Sugar in small doses is sweet, but the sugar-rush that is Halloween can cause problems for your child’s teeth. When sugar from pop or candy mixes with the bacteria in the dental plaque it creates a mild acid, which coats around the outer shell of the tooth called the enamel. When a tooth is exposed to acid frequently the repeated cycles of acid attacks cause the enamel to continue to lose minerals and weaken. This is how cavities form, and when a visit to the dentist becomes inevitable. So to protect your child’s teeth during Halloween, follow these useful tricks to minimise sugar intake and get that sugar off their teeth as fast as possible so it can do no harm.
Before your child heads out trick-or-treating, talk to them about their expectations and set a limit on candy consumption. Give them a smaller trick-or-treat bag. It’ll stop them from getting too much candy and won’t be so heavy to carry. Offer to trade candy for a toy or a trip to the movies. This may be harder on your wallet but much easier on your child’s teeth.
If you can, ask your child not to eat any treats before they return home so you can check their bag and potentially remove the most sugar-intensive teeth-rotting candy varieties. This may be difficult, but at least asking your child to minimise their candy intake will make them more aware and perhaps get them to temper their consumption.
MIX AND MATCH
Set specific treat times to avoid the constant snacking that will have your child’s mouth full of the sugar-fuelled acid that eats away at tooth enamel. The best times are meal times, where the candy consumption is preceded by a healthy and balanced meal. Fill your child’s stomach with nutrition not sugar. Have fun and have some candy yourself, and encourage your child to follow your sugar limitations.
Sugar-free candy and chewing gum is the best option, chocolate after that, and lollipops and other hard candy the worst option. Essentially, the less time that sugar is in contact with the teeth the better. Instead of candy, consider handing out small toys or other fun non-edible distractions instead. Or, as an alternative natural sugar treat, give your child an apple.
KEEP THEM CLEAN
Floss. Brush. Rinse. Repeat. Have your child brush after every meal, and, ideally, after every sugary snack. While most people only brush for a minute or less, be ahead of the curve and brush the dentist-recommended two minutes. Be the example for your child to follow. Even rinsing with a glass of water will help wash away the sugary acids that are the sources of tooth decay. Sticky candy is notorious for getting stuck in teeth, so pay particular attention to remove this, so it doesn’t sit in the tooth and soften the enamel.
Halloween is a fun time for kids. They love getting dressed up and they love the candy. As a parent, following these useful tricks doesn’t mean you’re the one putting the ‘trick’ in trick-or-treat, you’re simply ensuring your child has a tooth-friendly time this Halloween.
At True Dental we pride ourselves on offering comprehensive care, focusing on optimum health, functionality and aesthetic appeal of your teeth. We love kids, and our entire approach works towards making them feel comfortable and safe in the dentist’s chair. We engage and treat children at a young age in a positive way that gets them excited and looking forward to come to the dentist. For more information on our services, please give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.