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Halloween is one of the most fun-filled holidays that include everything children love - decorations, costumes, and most of all, candies! Trick-or-treating around the neighborhood wearing our favorite superhero’s costume is a thing all of us looked forward to every year. In fact, about 172 million Americans celebrated Halloween in 2019. The total expenditure for the holiday was found to be $8.8 billion - $2.6 billion of which is spent on candy alone!
This Halloween do educate your children about the risk of eating too much candy on your oral health. Although as much as they’d want to, no child would be able to avoid the temptation of eating candy. So how do you get your kids to prevent teeth cavities without taking the fun away from indulging in Halloween treats? Here’s how:
Bingeing on sweet treats throughout the day is not a good idea for kids and adults alike. The constant inflow of sugar creates an ideal environment for bacteria to develop and thrive. Also, the barrage of sugar does not allow your mouth and saliva to wash away sugary residue - gradually leading to cavities.
So, save the candy stash for a specific time of day, preferably after meals - for two reasons. One, your child won’t be able to eat too much candy after a good, healthy meal. Two, the meal would have triggered saliva production - neutralizing the acidity of bacteria formed by eating sugar.
Sticky, chewy, and caramel candies are not good choices for kids as they can stay lodged between teeth or find themselves in deep grooves. The bacteria would then attack such residue, releasing an acid that can damage the tooth enamel.
Hard candies are a no-no for kids too. Often, kids break their teeth, trying to bite into lollipops and other hard treats. So, avoid giving your kids such candies altogether. You can, however, be generous with chocolate as they are easily rinsed. Plus, dark chocolates are a great substitute for other treats as they are rich in anti-oxidants.
Let your kids know that while they can enjoy their candy after a meal, they should practice a healthy dental routine right after. The post-candy eating dental routine could include a combination of the following:
Brushing, flossing, and rinsing right after enjoying all the candy will ensure the sugary remnants are all cleaned out - leaving no room for harmful bacteria. Apples are an alternative to the brushing routine as nature’s own toothbrush in the form of a fibrous fruit ensures all the debris is whisked away. Lastly, chewing on a sugar-free gum will simply stimulate saliva production.
Make sure you take extra care of your children’s teeth while the Halloween candy last. If your kid is below 8 years old, help them brush so that they reach all the corners of every tooth. You could tell them a story or sing a song so that they stay focused on brushing and do not scurry off after a couple of strokes.