- October 17, 2015
It’s coming – a chill is in the air, the days are getting shorter, and your children are trying to figure out what costumes they’ll be dressing in this year. That’s right – Halloween is almost here! At Shorewood Family Dental Care we’re big fans of this spookiest of holidays but we also dread it – there’s so much sugar involved!
We don’t think you should cut out sugar for your children – that wouldn’t be fair to them on such an exciting holiday! We do encourage moderation over Halloween, however, and would love to give you some tips for a safe, mouth-healthy trick-or-treating experience!
Candy And Your Teeth: What Happens In There?
Sweets: the root of all (dental) evils. Your mouth contains a lot of bacteria in the form of plaque. A lot of those bacteria LOVE to eat sugar! When they do they produce acids that eat away at your teeth’s enamel. The acids don’t stop there, however – they keep going and going and going until they produce massive cavities!
That’s the danger of sugar, and during Halloween there’s a lot more sugar consumed than usual! Even a single piece of candy triggers an acid attack that lasts about a half hour. So think about it this way: if your children are chowing down on candy for a while that’s an acid attack that lasts a lot longer than just that half hour – it lasts a half hour after they eat their last piece!
Preventing Halloween Trouble
It’s a tough role being a parent on Halloween having to worry about candy and their teeth. Not to mention you have your children’s health, safety, and happiness to watch out for and what you want for them isn’t always what they want! You don’t have to fight them on the bounty they bring in – you can work with them to ensure they get their candy and you get your peace of mind!
- Before you head out for an evening of scaring up sweets make sure to feed your kids a nice big (healthy) dinner. This will keep them going for hours and when they get home they won’t be as likely to binge on sweets!
- When they get home let them enjoy their candy. This is their time to indulge a bit and get some major snacking out of their systems even if you did feed them dinner. It’s from here on out that you need to make sure they know who’s in charge of the candy dish!
- If your children are eating a lot of candy make sure they’re drinking water while they’re at it! Water helps flush away excess sugar, plaque acids, and bacteria. It’s a natural way to keep their mouths safe and healthy!
- Worried they’ll eat it all in a couple days? Make them ration it! Keep the candy in a safe place and give your kids the choice of a few pieces each day. This will keep the cavity risks down, keep the candy spread out longer, and teach them some self-control! You can also use this as an opportunity to get more chores done around the house – they could get bonus pieces for helping out!
- If you’re worried that they ended up with a bit too much candy you can offer to buy it back! For a few cents a piece, or whatever you decide, you can get the candy out of their hands and give them some spending money in exchange! Just make sure they don’t run out and buy more candy!
- Make sure they’re brushing at least twice a day! When eating a lot of candy it’s important that they’re keeping their teeth clean. If your children are old enough make sure they’re flossing in the evening too – plaque bacteria loves to hide where your brush can’t reach!
Most importantly make sure that your children are coming in for regular dental checkups at our Shorewood dentist office every six months! Twice a year cleanings gives us the perfect window to identify problems and treat them before they become serious. It’s also important to make sure your children learn good dental care habits at an early age – you can set them up for success later in life!
Keep The Specter Of Cavities Away – Call Today!
It doesn’t matter how long it has been since you or your family’s dental appointments – call us today to start fresh! You can reach our Shorewood dentist office by calling 815-725-5991 or by filling out our online appointment request form. We look forward to seeing you soon, and have a happy Halloween!