Our pediatric dentists know that the scariest monsters are the ones you can’t see. We’re not talking about ghouls or goblins, but rather the billions of mini monsters that live on the surface of your child’s teeth. Dental plaque is an invisible film of bacteria that loves candy as much your child does. In fact, if dental plaque had a favorite holiday, it would be Halloween.
While our pediatric dentists look for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, they prefer to prevent oral health problems in the first place. As a pediatric dental office, our goal is to holistically support families as they adventure through life.
Tips for a Healthy Halloween
Americans are expected to spend about $2.6 billion on Halloween candy in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation. Continue reading to learn how to help your child have a.
INVITE THE SWITCH WITCH TO YOUR HOME
Have you ever heard of the “?” If not, it may be time to invite her to your home. But first, you’ll need a good backstory to convince your children she’s just as real as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause.
The Switch Witch is a good witch that LOVES candy. So much so that she’s ready to trade AWESOME toys in exchange for sugary treats. She only comes out once a year to switch out candy that will last her until the next Halloween.
On Halloween night, your child can leave out candy for the Switch Witch before they go to bed. When they wake up, a new toy or other treat will be left in its place. The more candy your child gives, the better the prize.
Feel free to change this story as much as you want. For example, some parents use other names for the Switch Witch, such as the Candy Fairy.
EAT HALLOWEEN CANDY WITH MEALS
While it may seem weird to think about, the saliva in your mouth is responsible for washing away food particles after you eat. Your mouth produces more saliva when you eat a full meal (as opposed to snacking), which is why we recommend having children eat Halloween candy with meals. For example, you could tuck a chocolate bar into your child’s school lunch or ask them to pick out their favorite sweet to eat with dinner.
Did you know that how long a candy stays in your mouth affects the extent of tooth decay? Since hard candies sit in your mouth for longer periods of time, more sugar dissolves in your saliva and washes over your teeth. Sticky candies like gummy bears and caramel can also stick to teeth and provide food for cavity-causing bacteria. Being picky about the types of candy you bring into the home can help prevent cavities after Halloween.
DRINK MORE WATER
Make sure your kids drink plenty of water as they work through their candy stash. Water helps wash away any food particles left on your child’s teeth after eating candy. Also, make sure that the water your child drinks is fluoridated.
Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel so it’s less vulnerable to acid attacks from plaque. While you want to make sure your child drinks plenty of fluoridated water, make sure you also limit sugary drinks like pop or even fruit juice.
BRUSH AND FLOSS TEETH DAILY
It can be easy for children to forget to brush their teeth during the excitement of Halloween. Make sure that they continue their oral hygiene routine so that they can come into their next appointment with a mouth free of cavities. It is always our goal to make sure children and their parents know how to maintain healthy teeth during the holidays.
SCHEDULE A DENTIST APPOINTMENT
We recommend our patients see our pediatric dentists every six months so that we can detect cavities before they turn into a big problem. Make sure you keep your child’s dentist appointment after Halloween so that we can make sure there’s no beginning signs of tooth decay.
CALL MITTEN KIDS DENTISTRY
[This post has been updated.]