Nine Things to Remember to Maintain Healthy Teeth this Halloween
Candy is everywhere! Not much is more synonymous with Halloween than the consumption of candy. Even if you or your children want to enjoy some candy, you don’t want that candy to turn into cavities.
If your child is going door to door and gathering treats at every one, you’ll want to keep some tips in mind to ensure they maintain their healthy teeth.
1. Avoid Chewy and Sticky Candy
So, you know that your child will certainly consumer plenty of unhealthy candy around Halloween. However, avoiding a few particularly kinds can make all the difference in their ability to maintin healthy teeth.
Avoiding sticky or chewy candy is really important. This includes things like caramels, gummy bears, and various kinds of taffy. These candies are hard to remove, even if your child is great at remembering to brush and floss. This candy is also really important o avoid if your child wears braces. If you know how braces work, you know that you don’t want any sweet particles to get stuck underneath them. Stick and chewy candy is the hardest to get out from under those brackets.
2. Limit consumption overall
It is best if your child has a few pieces of candy at designated times during the day, say after dinner or lunch. Spacing it out throughout the entire day will make it much harder for your child to keep their teeth healthy.
Leaving candy in the mouth too long, or eating it consistently throughout the day, doesn’t give your child’s mouth time to flush out the acid and bacteria that is building up. It also doesn’t give your child time to brush their teeth after eating the candy.
3. Drink Water
Everyone knows how important water is for overall health. The same is true when trying to maintain healthy teeth. Water can help flush out any sugar leftover that might have otherwise gotten stuck to teeth. It can also help to balance the pH levels in the mouth. This is especially important when consuming candy since sugar impacts pH balance.
If you choose to hydrate your kids using bottled water, you can also opt for those that are fluoridated.
4. Enjoy in Moderation
While it might be hard to enforce, it is important to get your child to eat the fun-sized, smaller candies rather than the full-size version. The smaller version is the same candy and offers the same enjoyment but packs fewer calories and less sugar. Your children will likely not even know the difference, especially if the only option you allow is the smaller sized candy bars.
5. Avoid Sour Candy
Sour candy is important to avoid because it can have a negative impact on tooth enamel. In fact, the acid in sour candy causes the enamel to break down. Once your enamel is gone, you cannot get it back so you want to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect it.
6. Avoid long-lasting candy
Another type of candy you want to do your best to avoid, or have your children avoid, is the long-lasting kind. This includes things like lollipops and hard candy. They simply sit in the mouth for much longer and take a longer time to dissolve. This means that the teeth are more likely to get coated in sugar. It also gives the bacteria in the mouth plenty of time to turn that sugar into acid.
If your children wear braces, particularly Invisalign braces, you want to avoid this type of candy anyway. With traditional braces, the bacteria can form right under the braces. With Invisalign, your child needs to be wearing the braces for at least 22 hours a day. So, there isn’t a whole lot of time to keep hard candy in their mouth while not wearing their braces. Philadelphia orthodontics can give you even more tips of what to avoid if your child wears braces. Ensuring you follow the proper diet required for the type of braces your child wears can be a really critical part of their treatment plan.
7. Chew sugar-free gum
When you chew sugar-free gum, the flow of saliva in your mouth is increased. That saliva can help to get rid of bacteria and acids in the mouth, especially those left behind by consuming too much candy. The idea is to flush out the bad stuff, namely bacteria and acid, as soon as possible after eating candy. The longer it sits in your mouth, the worse the effects it can have over the long term.
Gum that has xylitol in it is particularly good to chew. The xylitol helps to block the production of the acid that actually causes decay.
8. Find a buyback program
Every child will likely consume some candy for Halloween. In most instances, it is simply unavoidable. The holiday is synonymous with consuming candy, making it unrealistic to think your child won’t have any at all. However, many kids just simply get too much.
If your child is one who gets far more candy than he or she should ever consume, you can encourage him or her to take part in a candy buyback program. These are available in a lot of places and they are pretty easy to find with a quick search of the area. They allow your child to trade in their candy for a monetary reward.
Your child would still get to consume some candy but would get to trade the rest in for money. It is kind of like a win-win.
9. Brush Teeth
You want to make sure your children brush their teeth shortly after eating candy. The sooner they brush their teeth after eating sugary candies, the better. This is one of the best ways to help prevent cavities from forming. The sooner your child brushes after having candy, the more likely they will be able to get the harmful bacteria off of their teeth and out of their mouths.