As fun as the traditions surrounding Halloween are, it can bring up some concerns over the health of kids’ teeth.
It’s that time of year when little ghouls and goblins go knocking door-to-door, coming home with bags of free candy. Follow these tips to help keep their little fangs bright, shiny, and sharp as ever.
Healthy Teeth at Halloween: Dos
- Use moderation – Encourage your kids to limit their portion sizes. Smaller, bite-sized candy bars are preferable to a full-sized candy bar. Consider setting aside the larger candies and saving them for special occasions.
- Drink lots of water – Drinking water helps wash away candy that might be stuck on the teeth, helps reduce acidity, and promotes a healthy mouth. Most water is fluoridated, which can help keep those little fangs healthy.
- Chew sugar-free gum – Though chewing gum might feel counter-intuitive, chewing sugar-free gum helps promote saliva production, which helps reduce the risk of cavities.
- Brush those fangs – Halloween is a great time to treat your little vampires to a fun new toothbrush and maybe even a mouthwash to encourage diligence in their oral healthcare routine. For little monsters who are especially young, parental supervision and assistance during brushing is helpful and even necessary.
- Maintain a healthy diet – Eating balanced meals and limiting sugary drinks can promote oral health and reduce cavities.
- Encourage little witches and wizards to participate in Halloween candy buyback programs – Many dental offices host candy buyback programs around Halloween. Have your children pick out their favorite candies and donate the rest. There’s no sense in contributing to cavities and inducing belly aches by eating mediocre candy. Allow kids to enjoy the sweets that bring them joy, and get the rest out of the house to avoid passive snacking from boredom.
- Limit candy consumption to specific times of the day: According to the American Dental Association, it’s best to eat sweets right after lunch or dinner when saliva production is the highest. Saliva helps prevent the buildup of acid and can aid in rinsing away food particles. Eating candy immediately after mealtime is a far healthier alternative than munching on candy throughout the day, which allows plaque to sit on the teeth for a longer period of time and build up, leading to cavities.
Healthy Teeth at Halloween: Candies to Avoid
The very worst candies for little goblin teeth are extra sticky and chewy candies like caramels and taffy, hard candies like jawbreakers that last a long time and linger on the teeth, and sour candies that are super acidic. All of these candies wreak havoc on teeth and fangs alike. Avoid these sweets and encourage kids to choose chocolate or sugar-free gum or candies instead.
Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah is Here to Help
If you’re concerned about your kids’ teeth, the board-certified oral surgeons and Oral & Facial Surgery can help answer questions and help you develop a treatment plan appropriate for your child. We truly care about each of our patients and will work to make sure your visit is comfortable and informative for both you and your little vampire. We have offices in Tooele, South Jordan, and Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Schedule your free consultation today!