Happy Halloween everyone! Here at your West Seattle dentist, we love Halloween! I thought it might be a good idea to discuss candy. Yum. I can’t wait to scrounge around in my son’s bag for some yuumyness…Oh wait, was I thinking (typing) out loud? Of course the hugest part of Halloween is the candy. Its estimated that Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy just for this holiday each year! Phew! Being in the dental field you can’t help but think of the potential for tooth decay from all of that! So here is a list of some things you can do to help reduce the risks of cavities among your little monsters!
- Limit the amount of time your kids can eat candy. 30 minutes should be plenty of time to down a sucker and then some. When it comes to your teeth, its more about the length of time they are exposed to sugar, not “how much” candy is eaten.
- After they’ve picked out and consumed all of the “good stuff” from their stashes, have your trick or treaters chew some sugarless gum. Preferably with xylitol. This will help get all the sticky stuff out of the nooks and crannys on their teeth (ps: if you’re going to eat candy, chocolate is always the better choice since it doesn’t stick around in your teeth forever like chewy fruity candy does).
- Help your children brush your teeth. PLEASE! I’ve seen too many “I brushed my teeth this morning”s with thick white gunk all over their teeth to believe that anyone under the age of 18 can actually brush their teeth like their supposed too. A good rule of thumb: 12 and under: parents should be helping. 18 and under, parents should be monitoring. I leave it up to you: Help them develop good brushing habits young so they don’t have to suffer through the numbing and drill. I’m just sayin.
- An over the counter fluoride rinse like ACT is great before bedtime.
And finally, use all this candy as a reminder to make an appointment for you and your child(ren)’s dental check up! I know it seems like we’re all gloom and doom over here, but seriously, do you want to sit with your child while he gets a cavity filled?