Kids across the country are looking forward to the annual Halloween celebration, marked by scary costumes, pumpkin carving, trick-or-treating and of course… candy. But while collecting a big bag of candy is a highlight of the night, it comes with a serious problem – cavities.
Sadly, over half of kids ages 6–8 have had a cavity in their primary teeth, and 57% of children 12–19 years old have had a cavity in their permanent teeth. However, with our top tips, you can still let your kids enjoy Halloween this year while minimizing the risk of tooth decay.
7 Kid-Friendly Tips for a Fun and Cavity-Free Halloween
Follow these seven tips and your children can get the most from the Halloween celebration, without the negative dental consequences.
1. Avoid Sticky or Hard Candies
Some candy is more harmful than others, with the stickiest sweets – like caramel, gummies, and hard candy – causing the most issues. When the candy takes a long time to eat, when it sticks to the teeth or is highly acidic, you might want to choose another treat.
2. Confine Eating Candy to Mealtime
Try to leave the candy until mealtime to limit the impact on the teeth. During a meal, your child’s mouth produces more saliva. This washes bacteria away from the teeth, reducing the chances of tooth decay.
3. Stay Away From Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks are a common cause of dental problems, weight gain and other health concerns. Try to have a healthier alternative on hand when a child reaches for a sugary soda this Halloween.
4. Rinse With Water After Eating Candy
Not only is water a healthy choice for kids, it also offers a quick way to rinse away the remaining sugar from any Halloween treats. Start the habit this Halloween, then continue it throughout the year.
5. Schedule a Dental Appointment
Regular visits to the family dentist are vital for spotting early signs of tooth decay and gum disease. If your child hasn’t gone for a dental cleaning and oral exam recently, right after Halloween is the perfect time for a checkup.
6. Try Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing gum is not usually recommended for young kids. However, sugar-free gum is an occasional exception, as it can produce extra saliva that helps clear away bacteria.
7. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
After an evening of Halloween fun, kids can protect themselves from cavities with their regular oral hygiene routine. Brushing and flossing will remove signs of sugar and plaque before they head to bed.
Top Family Dentist for the Whole Family
Take control of your family’s dental health today and into the future with good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. If you live in the Marietta, GA area, Shining Smiles Family Dentistry could be the family-friendly dentist for you. Call (770) 420-8550.