Halloween is just around the corner. Kids everywhere are feverishly preparing for one of the biggest nights of the year. Its our job as parents to prepare for the inevitable sweet tooth that seems to rear its ugly head more so this time of year than any other.
Thankfully, you dont have to prevent your kids from enjoying their yearly trick-or-treating adventure. Instead, arm yourself with these five tips for minimizing the harmful impact of sugary candy on your childs teeth.
- Take Inventory Sit down with your child and take inventory of their candy. The key here is to eliminate any candy that you consider to be unacceptable. So, what is considered unacceptable? Thats your call. But, generally its a good idea to eliminate super sticky, extra gooey and rock hard candy. This includes, but is not limited to: taffy, gummy bears, caramel, rock candy, etc. These candies have the most potential to harm your childs teeth. Not to worry, though. You dont need to throw away the candy that didnt meet your standards. A growing number of dentists around the country are setting up buy back programs that will allow you to turn in candy for cash
- Establish Limits Eating too much candy too frequently should be avoided. This is one case where too much of a good thing is not good for you especially your teeth. Many parents find that setting a candy time each day works best for limiting their childs candy intake. I recommend allowing a few pieces with meals or snacks, but not in-between. Why? Its always best to eat sweets with other foods in order to increase saliva production and hold harmful acids at bay.
- Chew Sugarless Gum Chewing sugar-free gum with Xylitol will help to increase saliva production. This helps shed your teeth of leftover sugars from the candy and keeps harmful bacteria in check.
- Take Precautions You may want to visit the dentist prior to Halloween to have sealants placed on your childs teeth. This is a good way to protect their teeth from harmful corrosion caused by prolonged exposure to sugar.
- Brush & Floss The #1 way to minimize the harmful effects of sugary candy to your teeth is to brush and floss after you eat it every time. If youre extra worried, you can have your child rinse with a fluoride mouthwash for safe measure. Brushing and flossing are not perfect preventative measures, but theyre darn close.
Now you can let your kids enjoy Halloween and everything that comes with it including candy. With these simple tips, you can rest assured that your little ghouls and goblins teeth will live to trick-or-treat another day.
Cory Kemp is the owner of the popular dental marketing website, Dental Heroes, and a DentalPlans.com affiliate.