At our local dentist office in Chula Vista, Halloween is a tricky-or-treat time of year. Of course the thought of sticky, sugary candy has us reaching for the fluoride rinse already, but we also understand the joy associated with Halloween.
This Halloween, get in the spirit and remain committed to your children’s good oral health.
Halloween Tips From Your Local General Dentist
If you don’t want to be that neighbor who gives out toothbrushes or that parent who doesn’t let their children enjoy the fun, we have a few solutions for you! Chances are that your child will eat candy anyway, so Halloween is a great opportunity to teach children about sugar consumption and how to reduce its effects.
1. Eat Candy During Meals
Halloween might be an excuse for your child to eat candy for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and every snack in-between. It’s actually much better for your child to eat candy as they eat other meals, or at least right after. That’s because we produce more saliva as we eat full meals. Increased saliva helps us to break down food and wash away bacteria thanks to the digestive enzymes present.
As much as you can, encourage your child to eat candy with meals. Frame it as a special dessert or a special time where they can eat chocolate with their broccoli!
2. Avoid Candies That Stay In Your Mouth
The faster your child can eat a candy, the better. It might seem counterintuitive, but the worst candies for oral health are the ones that stay in your mouth for prolonged periods of time. Think lollipops, Gobstoppers, Warheads, Jolly Ranchers, and any other suckers.
The longer a candy stays inside the mouth, the more likely they are to cause tooth decay. If you can, remove these types of candies from the Halloween loot while your trick-or-treater is still running around as Batman.
Chocolate candy is a much better alternative to sugar-laced candies that your child needs to suck on.
3. Stay Away From Sticky Candy
Just as you want to minimize candy that stays in the mouth for awhile, you want to avoid sticky candies as much as possible. Caramel, taffy, and gummies are some of the worst for oral health because they stick to teeth and gums. When this type of candy sticks to tooth enamel, it becomes much harder for saliva and water to wash it away.
If your child has consumed a lot of sticky candy (we know it’s sometimes unavoidable) make sure they brush their teeth for at least two minutes, floss, and rinse with a mouth wash.
4. Drink Water
The importance of hydration is one of the best lessons that Halloween can teach children. Hydration is a staple of health regardless, but it’s imperative when your child has been consuming a lot of sugar. Hydration helps the body to produce more saliva which in turn washes away the harmful sugar and bacteria from candy.
Water with fluoride (usually tap water or fluoridated bottled water) also strengthens tooth enamel, fortifying it against sugar.
5. Make It A One-Day Celebration
When it comes to candy, Halloween can be the gift that keeps on giving. Your child might come back with an entire pillowcase full of candy. Try as they might, it’ll be hard for them to consume all of that on October 31. Instead of keeping the candy around the house until it runs out, consider keeping only a limited portion of the candy.
Have your child choose their favorite candies. Instead of wasting the rest, consider donating it to local charities that provide trick-or-treat candy to low-income areas. Or, think about donating it to an organization like Operation Gratitude that sends Halloween candy to troops serving overseas.
Not only do you limit the amount of candy to which your child has access, but you also teach them a valuable lesson in sharing and inequity.
6. Visit The Local Dentist
While one night might not destroy your child’s oral health for life, Halloween is a great reminder of the importance of dental care. If it’s been awhile since their last dental check-up, consider scheduling an appointment after Halloween.
A good general dentist can also teach and encourage your child to start a healthy oral hygiene routine. This will serve your child both now and in the future when it comes to their health. Plus, they’ll make sure your child is brushing, flossing, and rinsing effectively.
For a general dentist in Chula Vista, schedule an appointment with Estrella Dental today. Our local dentist’s office provides care for the whole family.
Our general dentist services include:
- Preventative care
- Dental check-ups
- Cosmetic dentistry
- Oral cancer screenings
- Tooth extractions
- Much more!
Call us today at Estrella Dental, serving the areas of Chula Vista, San Diego, and Los Angeles!