Healthy Smiles at Halloween


With Halloween only a short while away, kids all over the country are getting excited at the prospect of nearly unlimited candy. Unfortunately, this has just as many parents cringing. Too much candy also means cavities. Currently, cavities are considered the most common health problem among children today, mostly caused by diets high in refined sugars. However, there are things you can do to minimize the damage while still letting your kids enjoy the holiday.

Limit Candy

With so much candy available from trick-or-treating, it’s important to impose limits on how much of it your child eats in a day. Generally, it’s a good idea to allow them only four or five pieces. Don’t let them get it themselves, though. Children are clever and impulsive, making them likely to take more than they’re allowed. It’s recommended to keep the stash of candy in a place where they can’t get to it without your permission.

Timing

Candy is the worst for health right before meals, first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach. Your child should only eat their daily allowance of candy after a meal. During this time, saliva production is still abundant, which helps to clear away the sugar residues that cause damage to their teeth.

Good Oral Hygiene

Kids should be brushing and flossing multiple times per day, but it’s especially important after a sugary snack. However, make sure they wait at least 30 minutes before doing so. For a little while after eating, tooth enamel is compromised and easily damaged. Brushing too soon can essentially scrape away the enamel, increasing the risk of cavities rather than reducing it.

Kids With Braces

With a little added caution, even kids with braces can enjoy their Halloween treats. Taffies, caramels, gummies, hard candies and those containing nuts or popcorn should be avoided. Chewy candies can get stuck in braces while hard candies and nuts can cause damage to them. Fortunately, after eliminating these things, they’re left with the best candy: the chocolates.

Regular Dental Visits

Because of increased intake of sugar, Halloween is also the ideal time to take your kids to Cottage Dental Care for a checkup, cleaning or other preventative maintenance. Dr. Dennis R. Krug D.D.S. will be able to catch potential problems before they cause trouble, and he will also be able to recommend preventative steps that you can adopt in your home. At Cottage Dental Care, where “a Healthy Mouthy Mouth is a Healthy Body” and you will always be treated like family.

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