Halloween is nearly upon us, and what’s Halloween without the revered tradition that is trick-or-treating? For most kids, this is an opportunity to dress up and build a stockpile of sweets for the winter months, but this time of year also comes with its own challenges for children’s oral health. With that in mind, here at London Holistic Dental Centre we thought we’d compile a list of tips to help you and your kids have a fun Halloween whilst keeping everyone’s mouth and teeth as healthy as possible! So without further ado, let’s jump into it:
- Drink Water: Water does a great job at washing out your mouth, and when eating sugary foods, it can help to wash away sticky sugar particles that cling to your teeth and speed up the decaying process.
- Feed your Kids: This may seem like an obvious one, but give your children a good meal before going trick-or treating! This does two things- firstly, it means your kids won’t feel the need to gorge themselves and fill up on all their ill-gotten gains, and secondly, saliva production increases during and immediately after eating a meal. Saliva is especially important as it rinses your mouth of food and sugar particles whilst also neutralising acids left behind by pesky sugars.
- Choose your Sweets: This one is slightly harder to control, as you can’t really regulate what kind of sweets your kids are given during Halloween. But if you can, stay away from harder candies like gobstoppers as they stay in the mouth for a longer time- giving the sugar more time to wear down your enamel and cause tooth decay. Sticky sweets like gummies or toffee are also significantly worse for your oral health, as they cling to your tooth surfaces and take longer to be washed away by saliva or water.
- Set Time Limits- Kids are understandably very excited to get a bagful of their own sweets, but we have to let them know that eating sugary snacks should come with a time limit. Kids need to know that eating sweets isn’t a nonstop activity- moderation is key, and when kids know they have a specific ‘treat time’ they’re less likely to think about sweets at other times.
- Maintain a regular oral health schedule: This one might just be the most important tip of them all! All of our previous tips will count for nothing if you don’t make sure your children are brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Flossing is also really important, especially after eating very sugary foods, because it gets to those places a normal toothbrush can’t reach.
If you follow these tips on Halloween night, you’ll definitely be able to rest easy knowing your kids can enjoy their treats without the risks of tooth decay. If you would like to book an appointment with us, to discuss any aspect of you or your child’s oral health, just give us a call on 020 7487 5221. Have a fun and safe Halloween everyone!