The spookiest month of the year is upon us, and that means it’s time for widespread candy consumption. Unfortunately, that also means you and your child are more likely to get problems like tooth decay and gum disease, especially if you neglect your regular brushing and flossing habits. Let’s talk about how you can avoid dental issues this Halloween with some tips from your dentist.
Regular Cleanings and Checkups
October is the perfect time to book a regular checkup and cleaning with your children’s dentist. You can make sure your little one’s teeth are clean before Halloween. That way they’ll look nice and shiny for pictures taken in their costumes! Additionally, the dentist can check for cavities that your kid might not be able to notice on their own. He or she can treat these cavities before candy consumption on Halloween makes the problem worse. Your child can also get dental sealants applied to prevent serious dental damage from candy.
Sealants are essentially thin plastic-like coatings that are painted onto the grooves of your child’s molars. Since these back teeth are often hard to reach with a toothbrush, bacteria can accumulate in their nooks and crannies. Your children’s dentist can paint dental sealants onto the molars to keep out any bacteria from entering and wreaking havoc.
It might be tempting to chow down on hard candy, but doing so can actually fracture your teeth. Even having a small chip in the tooth’s enamel can lead to an exposed nerve and severely sensitive teeth, as well as raging toothaches. In addition, foods like popcorn husks can get stuck in between the teeth and cause gum infections if not fished out with dental floss. If you’re going to enjoy hard candy, suck on it instead, and be sure to keep some floss handy.
Besides visiting your dentist, there are a few things you can do to help your child make more mouth-healthy choices this Halloween. Here are some tips to do so:
- Treats like chocolate that washes away quickly are healthier for your teeth than sticky candies like gummies.
- Never let your kid go to bed after eating candy without first brushing and flossing their teeth.
- Screen the candy they get and help them make tooth-friendly candy choices.
- Suggest non-candy snack alternatives like cheese sticks and fresh fruits.
While it’s nearly impossible to eliminate candy from a Halloween diet, you can do your part to help minimize damage and keep your child’s mouth healthy this holiday. Follow the tips listed above, and don’t hesitate to ask your children’s dentist for more advice!
About the Author
Dr. Aaron Neale is a 2010 graduate of the University of Oklahoma’s College of Dentistry. Currently, he practices at Blackwell Dentistry in Blackwell, OK. He wants to spread his love of dentistry to all of his patients. For more dental hygiene tips this holiday season, you can contact Dr. Neale here or call (580) 262-8420.