Halloween is a time for your children to dress up, sing songs, carve pumpkins and gorge on sweets. But while your children are overindulging, the parents are haunted by the thought of what scary monsters might be lurking inside their mouths. Although you won’t want to deny your children the full Halloween experience, here are a few tips to avoid any cavity nightmares.
The Time Is Right
Set a time limit on when your children can enjoy the sweets they have been given this Halloween. By allowing your children to eat throughout the day, they are at higher risk of cavities. The sugar sits in the mouth throughout the day, whilst sugar is continuously added onto their teeth. Limit the amount of time sugar is in contact with teeth by giving your children a dedicated ‘treat time’ to indulge in their winnings. The best time for this would be after meals, when the saliva production has been increased during eating, helping to neutralise any acid caused by bacteria and lift away any food debris remaining in the mouth.
Eat A Healthy Meal
When it comes to dinner, make sure and cook an extra healthy meal rich in vegetables and protein, that way you are assured that they have consumed the right foods before they begin gorging on the bad ones.
Some sweets are worse for teeth than others. Avoid hard candy such as lollipops, which may break or chip teeth. As well as this, sticky sweets like gummy fruits and caramels are more likely to get stuck between teeth, making it more difficult to clean when it comes to brushing and flossing. Instead, offer your children chocolate-based treats that can be eaten quickly and are relatively easy to wash away.
Drink More Water
Drinking water is key on Halloween night. The water helps to wash away any food and sugar debris that can linger between teeth. Try and avoid giving your children fizzy drinks on Halloween: they would be eating a considerable amount of sugar during Halloween, so encourage more water and less fizzy drinks drinking.
Floss The Fangs
Halloween is when you have to be extra vigilant when it comes to your children’s oral hygiene. Supervise your children when they brush and make sure that they brush twice a day for two minutes at a time. If you haven’t already done so, this is a great time to introduce flossing into their routine:
- Give your child about 18 inches of floss and help them to wrap most of it around both middle fingers, leaving about an inch of floss.
- Your child should gently slide the floss down between the teeth using their thumb and index fingers. Make sure that they are holding the floss taut.
- Your child should curve the floss around the teeth in a ‘c’ shape, guiding the floss up and down the side of each tooth.
- When moving on to the next gap, ensure that they use a fresh part of the floss.
About The Author
Dr. Chig Amin is the owner and principal dentist of the Epsom Dental Centre. Dr. Amin practices gentle dentistry and ensures that all of his patients receive the dental care that best meets their needs.