Halloween is a favorite holiday for children and adults alike, with spooky movies, haunted houses, costumes, and of course, trick-or-treating. Although the trick-or-treating routine may undergo some changes in the face of the pandemic, the temptation that comes from having Halloween candy at home isn’t likely to change. Even with social distancing and sanitation procedures, 148 million people will still participate in Halloween activities this year.
In the weeks that follow Halloween festivities, your child’s oral hygiene will become even more important. An influx of sugar can wreak havoc on their teeth, wearing down enamel, encouraging harmful bacteria growth, and causing cavities. Help your children enjoy their Halloween candies – without the cavities – with these expert tips!
Limit sticky or hard candy
Not all candy is created equal: some kinds of candy are more harmful to your teeth than others. Limiting sticky and hard candy can go a long way in protecting your child’s mouth from cavities.
Taffy and caramel both have a soft, sticky consistency, which can easily get trapped between teeth and in the crevices on top of teeth. This creates a perfect environment for decay and cavities to form. Hard candies, such as lollipops, are meant to last for a longer period of time – and although that may make them a fan favorite, a prolonged eating time increases the chance of developing a cavity.
Both hard candies and sticky candies are risky for children with braces, as they can get stuck in the brackets or even cause damage.
Set time aside for eating candy
It’s tempting to reach into that Halloween bag and snack on candy throughout the day, whether you are a child or an adult! Did you know that eating sugar in spurts throughout the day is actually more harmful to your teeth? Unless you are brushing your teeth immediately after each piece of candy, intermittent snacking means that sugar particles are left to linger on your teeth for hours, increasing the risk of cavities.
The best time to eat Halloween candy is either with a meal or shortly afterwards. There are two benefits to using this timing: first, saliva production naturally increases during a meal, helping to wash away sugar particles and bacteria. Second, your child is much more likely to brush their teeth shortly after a meal, which will ensure that their teeth stay protected from damage caused by sugars and acids.
Floss, brush, and rinse two times a day
A solid oral hygiene routine can ensure that the fun of eating Halloween candy doesn’t turn into the fear of cavities. In the days after Halloween, kids will be eating more candy than usual, which makes maintaining good oral hygiene even more important. Sugar particles can get trapped between teeth and on the surface of teeth, creating the perfect environment for bacteria and decay. Flossing, brushing, and rinsing with mouthwash twice each day will keep their smile healthy, vibrant, and cavity-free.
Are you worried that your child might develop cavities from all of their Halloween candy this year? Don’t forget to schedule a check-up with Blue Island Smiles! We’ll examine your child’s mouth and guide how to keep their teeth cavity-free throughout the Halloween season – and beyond!