Don't Let Halloween Leftovers Ruin Your Children's Teeth! Here Are Four Ways to Protect Your Children's Oral Health
Halloween is over, but your children are still at higher risk of developing cavities. Here's how you can protect their teeth and boost their oral health.
Another exhausting night of Halloween is over and you'd be happy if you'd never see another piece of candy again for a week or longer. But sadly that's far from the case. Sure your children spent the end of Halloween lugging their bags of treats eagerly home and happily gorged on sugary snack after snack until they got tired or you ushered them to brush their teeth and head to bed.
But most likely your children haven't finished eating all their sugary treasure, and Dr. Jim Steiner, dentist at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, says that's the real danger from Halloween. He says that children hide their Halloween candy and eat a little of it many times in the following days – and the more frequent your children eat in a day, the more they're susceptible to cavities.
But taking away your children's Halloween candy isn't the only way to protect their oral health. You don't have to spoil their Halloween spoils because you can help save their teeth with these tips:
Give your children cavity-fighting snacks. If you can't beat them, join them, right? Did you know there are healthy, yummy snacks that fight cavities? Since your children are already set on eating their treats, you might as well give them some that actually protect their teeth! Cheese, raisins, and sugarless xylitol candies have been found to close small holes in your teeth caused by cavity-forming bacteria and keep those bacteria at bay. Give these teeth-protecting snacks to your children while they're eating their leftover Halloween treats to help lessen any potential damage caused by their Halloween candy.
Make your children brush three times a day. You've probably heard that brushing your teeth twice daily is recommended, but dentists actually say brushing three times a day is best. Candy fills your children's mouth with sugar throughout the day, which boosts cavity-forming bacterial growth. Clearing those growths by brushing helps prevent cavities from forming from eating candy the whole day.
If your children wear braces, don't let them eat taffy or nutty candy. According to Dr. John Fagbemi of London's King's Cross Dental Clinic, sticky, crunchy, very hard, and chewy candy can break off and get lodged in braces and even damage or misalign them. He warns that these types of candy are especially bad if your children are wearing Invisalign, which are more sensitive than regular braces. Let your children have treats that are soft and melt in their mouths, like chocolate and peanut butter, which are safer for braces.
Gift your children fun toothbrushes on Halloween! Strangers gave your children treats, but did you give them anything? Dentists recommend changing their toothbrushes every three months, so give them a healthy treat on Halloween with a Halloween-themed toothbrush! Dentists found that children are more eager to brush their teeth when they're fond of their toothbrushes – so you'll boost their chances of brushing their teeth thrice a day while they eat their secret stash of candy.
Don't let your children share bitten treats with other children. Your children are raised healthy with good hygiene – but can you say the same about their friends? Cavities can be contagious. Cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted when one child puts candy into her mouth that came from another child's mouth. Don't let your children do this with their friends because it will increase their risk of developing cavities.
Don't let tooth aches be a consequence of Halloween fun! Follow these tips to keep your children's teeth safe after Halloween.