Halloween is almost upon us and although it’s a time for fun, costumes, trick or treating and lots of sweets, this terrifying time of the year can wreak havoc on your kids (and your) teeth. There are a lot of scary things about Halloween, but cavities don’t have to be one of them! Participating in the fun of dressing up and going door-to-door should definitely be encouraged, but there are a few small things you can do to minimize the risk of all those tasty treats harming your kids’ teeth. Here are a few simple tips that can make a big impact
- Timing Is Everything
When it comes to sweets and your teeth, timing is important. If you have a little right after a meal, you’ll benefit from the extra saliva your mouth automatically makes while you’re eating a full meal. This helps rinse away leftover bits of residue from sweets and the cavity-causing acids produced by bacteria in your mouth.
- Choose Wisely
Avoid sticky, chewy, or hard sweets. Sweets that are especially sticky get stuck on your teeth and are difficult to remove even with regular brushing and flossing. Try to avoid these, as they can remain on the teeth for prolonged periods of time and cause tooth decay more rapidly. A plain chocolate bar is an example of a less harmful option, as it is softer on the teeth and melts quickly in the mouth.
- Drink Water
It is important for children to drink plenty of water to rinse away the sugar after eating Halloween treats. The water will help to dilute any acid attacks caused by sugary snacks. Try to avoid carbonated drinks and even some fruit juices or smoothies, which can be high in sugar and therefore lead to erosion of teeth.
- Wait before brushing
After eating sugary treats, it is a good idea for children to wait 30 minutes before brushing. Some acidic foods soften your enamel, so if you brush right after eating them, you can risk damaging your enamel further while it is in a weakened state.
Cavities don’t have to be the scariest thing about Halloween. Limit your sugary sweets and take care to protect your teeth, and you’ll find that the ghosts, goblins, and other Halloween horrors are much scarier than the onset of tooth decay.