Halloween is almost here! Although your child may be excited about their costume and hanging out with friends, what they are looking forward to most is likely candy – lots and lots of candy. Unfortunately, sugar is one of the leading causes of cavities, and recent studies have found that kids consume upwards of three cups of it eating Halloween candy. The good news is that you can still make this a spook-tacular season for your child’s tastebuds and their oral health. Here are a few tips on how to prevent cavities this Halloween season!
Tip #1: Set Up a Plan Ahead of Time
One of the best things you can do is set up a plan with your child ahead of time. One example is choosing a smaller trick-or-treating route, which will naturally limit the amount of candy they collect. Another option is to set up an exchange. For example, every piece of candy that they donate counts as a dollar they can use for a toy, video game, or another interest of theirs.
Tip #2: Remove Sticky and Crunchy Candies from the Pile
Simply put, there are some candies that are more smile-friendly than others. Dark chocolate is a great example of a treat that is both delicious and smile-friendly. After all, it contains antioxidants, and it can easily be rinsed from your child’s teeth. The same cannot be said for sour gummies, peanut brittle, and the like.
Tip #3: Remember, Timing Matters!
During meals, your child’s saliva production increases to help them digest. That’s why immediately following dinner is a great time to indulge in a piece or two. Just make sure that they rinse their mouth thoroughly with clean water afterward and brush their teeth about 20 minutes later.
Tip #4: Keep Other Sugary Treats to a Minimum
To fight off tooth decay, your child needs to eat a well-balanced diet that’s filled with fruits and vegetables. This will help keep their teeth strong and their gums healthy. The opposite will happen if they are drinking sodas and eating ice cream on top of indulging in Halloween candy.
About the Doctor
Dr. Matt Strumpf knew early on that he wanted to work with children, and he ultimately chose to earn his dental degree from Midwestern University. Following graduation, he completed his pediatric specialty training at the University of Illinois Chicago, became a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, and attended the American Laser Study Club Symposium (a few of his many accomplishments). If you have any questions about how to keep your child’s smile decay-free from home, or you’d like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to visit his website or call (651) 450-6111.