With Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas on the horizon, we know that many of you are wondering how to ensure that your children’s teeth stay healthy as they enjoy Halloween candy and the holiday sweets. We field many questions regarding this topic every year. How much candy should I let my child eat? Which candies should we avoid? Is all candy bad? If you are looking for guidance on navigating your child’s relationship with sweets this holiday season, check out these five tips!
Brush and Floss
While it might seem obvious, the easiest way to keep your child cavity-free this holiday season is to make sure they brush their teeth and floss as usual. It might be helpful to have them add an extra brush or two each day, depending on what they are eating.
As you know, most candies contain copious amounts of sugar. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugar from candy and starches. This bacteria creates acid, which erodes your teeth, causing cavities. Therefore, it is essential to brush your teeth after eating candy with a lot of sugar.
You should also be mindful of the types of candies your kids are eating in relation to when they brush their teeth. Your child should brush soon after eating sticky candies, such as licorice and gummies, to ensure that the sugars in those candies do not live in their mouth for too long.
How much are we eating?
In the holiday season, grazing becomes a popular method of food consumption. Whether it is grabbing a piece of candy every time you walk through the kitchen or eating Thanksgiving lunch all day long, grazing makes it easy to eat more than you usually would. Be mindful of how much candy and sweets you eat while you graze because the more sugar you eat, the more acid develops in your mouth.
Try Sugar-Free Candy
Sugar-free candy may not be the most enticing option for your child, but it can actually be helpful to consume alongside their traditional sweets. Hard, sugar-free candies are beneficial, as they cause your mouth to produce saliva. The saliva helps wash away the sugars that live in the mouth from traditional candies, which will keep the bacteria in your mouth from producing as much acid that erodes teeth.
Visit the Dentist
Visiting the dentist’s office can be easy to forget throughout the pandemic and now the holiday season, but it is more vital now than ever. Going to your regularly scheduled dentist appointments allows your teeth to be professionally cleaned and checked on, ensuring a healthy smile!