Sugar, Sugar, Sugar
Every kid’s favorite part of spooky season is sugar. Sorting through a bag full of candy, separating out the favorites, and trading with brothers or sisters followed by an unhealthy binging of cavity-inducing treats. As great of a time as this is for kids, it’s the stuff of nightmares for dentists and orthodontists.
Halloween candy is delicious, no denying that, but the consumption of sugary snacks and treats comes with great responsibility. Halloween is an opportunity for kids to learn the importance of dental hygiene, or else.
What lies in wait for kids who eat too much candy or neglect to floss and brush their teeth afterward? Cavities. And cavities mean what many kids hate to hear at their age, a trip to the dentist.
4 Tips to A More Successful Halloween
To help better facilitate this year’s candy haul we’ve compiled a list of helpful parenting tips to guide your child’s candy intake.
- Setting limits – The presence or absence of limits can be an important contributor to your child’s relationship to candy and their propensity for developing cavities. Some kids self-regulate on their own and don’t need a lot of guidance. For these kids, it’s best not to regulate too much. Setting unnecessary limitations could encourage them to rebel. But for the majority of kids, setting some boundaries with their candy stash will inspire a more considerate approach to how they choose to eat it.
- Keep it fun – Halloween is a holiday, and as mentioned in the previous tip, it’s best not to go too crazy with rules for fear of rebellion. Not only that but they’ll only be kids for so long. At a certain point, it’s important to remember they’re only kids and soon this will just be a memory.
- Keep the water flowing – Water is great for keeping some of those pesky sugars from settling in. After eating candy, remind your children to swish water around their mouths. Plus, tap water contains fluoride which is good to help strengthen teeth through remineralization.
- Encourage extra brushing – When your kids want to eat candy, make them agree to brush their teeth immediately afterward and supervise them to make sure it gets done. Brushing immediately after eating sugary candy prevents the accumulation of the sugars that feed bacteria and lead to plaque. Flossing and rinsing with mouthwash is important too! Don’t forget!
- Establish a trade-in policy – Not all candy is the same. Things like texture and ingredients can vastly change the consequences that come from eating it. Chewy and sticky candy, for example, get stuck in teeth and are harder to get rid of even with immediate brushing. If they survive the brushing your child could be in for a cavity. Sour candy is heavily acidic too which erodes tooth enamel. Better choices are chocolate candy and things like pretzels.
Be on the lookout when it comes to candy eating. Keeping it all in a safe place inaccessible to your children can be helpful too so that way you maintain control of how much they’re eating at a time.
Avoid Those Cavities!
Cavities and tooth decay can lead to painful trips to the oral surgeon and things like implants and tooth extractions. If things get that bad get on top of it early and visit Dr. Pollock. Call Rockwall Oral Surgery today at (469)264-8921.