Halloween is one of the most exciting days of the year for kids, but it also becomes one of the worst days for their oral health. Candy is full of sugar that loves to destroy your child’s tooth enamel, leaving them susceptible to decay and cavities. To protect your child’s teeth this Halloween, set limits for their candy consumption, encourage extra brushing and trade in the worst sugar offenders for healthier options. Your kids’ teeth don’t have to suffer this Halloween from sugar overload if you encourage some of these oral health tips beforehand. Find out what else you can do to help your kids enjoy Halloween without ruining their teeth by following these tips!
Sugar and Teeth
Our teeth are the strongest substance in our bodies, but they can deteriorate under the constant attack of plaque and tooth decay. Children are the most vulnerable to tooth decay and cavities, especially around Halloween time. The sugary candy and treats that kids consume over Halloween account for most of the cavities that dentists see over the next few weeks, and while they may be tasty, your children’s oral health is more important. Sugar is the main culprit behind tooth decay in this case as the oral bacteria in our mouths feed off of it to produce acids that eat away at tooth enamel. Tooth enamel is the shiny, outer layer that protects our teeth from decay, but once it wears off, it’s gone for good. Tooth enamel can’t be grown again so it’s essential that you do everything you can to keep your children’s teeth safe from decay-causing sugar. Once tooth enamel is worn down enough, cavities (holes in the teeth) form and cause pain and discomfort. If left untreated, cavities can grow so large that they impact the deeper layers of the tooth and can even cause tooth loss. All the candies, sweets, baked goods, treats, juices and caffeinated beverages that kids eat over Halloween put them at extreme risk for tooth decay and cavities, especially if they haven’t been taught good oral hygiene beforehand. By implementing the following tips into your schedule this Halloween, you’ll be able to protect your kids from painful, expensive cavities and ensure that their oral health is in tip-top shape.
Tips For A Frightfully Healthy Halloween
One of the best ways to prepare your child for a healthier Halloween is by educating them about the effects that sugar has on their teeth. Most kids will make better decisions when it comes to choosing tasty treats when they’ve been given correct information beforehand about the consequences of sugar-filled food. Help your child avoid hard and sticky candies, which are some of the worst sugar offenders. Hard and sticky candies stay in the mouth and on the teeth longer than other treats, which gives bacteria plenty of time to create plaque and acid that eats away at your kids’ teeth. Some of these treats include gummy bears, taffy, lollipops and gum, which are all jam-packed with sugar. You should also set limits for your children’s candy consumption so that they don’t overload Halloween night, plus you should try to encourage candy eating after dinner as saliva production increases at this time. Saliva is the mouth’s natural safeguard against plaque, and it will help wash away the sugary substances in your kids’ mouths after they eat candy. Lastly, make sure that you’re encouraging good brushing and flossing routines with your kids before Halloween comes. This way, kids will know what to do before they go to bed and will make an effort to clean their teeth of sticky plaque. Good oral hygiene habits should be taught at a young age so that kids can make smart oral health decisions in the future. Let Halloween be an opportunity to educate your family about good oral hygiene habits!
Importance of Regular Dental Checkups
While monitoring your children’s candy consumption, encouraging good dental habits and eating candy after dinner are all great ways to keep tooth decay down, it’s not enough. Your kids should be meeting with their dentist for regular dental checkups and cleanings every six months to maintain optimal oral health. Most dental checkups include a thorough examination of your child’s oral cavity for signs of disease along with a deep cleaning of the teeth, gums and mouth. The dental exam often utilizes digital X-rays to view how your child’s teeth are forming and to get an in-depth view of their teeth roots and bones that are found below the gumline. You should also expect the dentist to review your child’s mouth with a metal mirror and tools for signs of swelling, redness or infection, along with evaluating how their teeth come together to identify any bite issues. Every dental checkup will also include an oral cancer screening to check for any lesions that could be developing silently in the mouth. Even kids will have this screening performed as cancer can develop at any age. Make sure that your children are visiting their dentist regularly so that they can develop and maintain good oral health habits for years to come.
Protect Your Children’s Oral Health With Our Help!
At Mountain Aire Dentistry, we care about your children’s oral health over the holidays. Whether they have a cavity, need a cleaning or are due for their checkup, it’s important that each of your kids have a dental professional managing their oral health needs. Call our office today at (303) 731-7755 to prep them for Halloween with a thorough examination and cleaning. Don’t let Halloween treats destroy your kids’ teeth-call and schedule their next dental checkup today!