While your kids love their Halloween candy binge, remember that tooth decay needs time to develop.
Whether that time is all at once or over a number of different instances, your teeth need to come into contact with acidic foods more than just once in order for you to get a cavity. When decay is in its early stages, a white spot may appear where the minerals have started to break down. At this point in the process, keeping acidic foods and drinks away from teeth will allow the minerals in your saliva, and fluoride from your toothpaste, to repair the enamel.
What Does This Mean in Regards to Halloween?
It means that your kids can get through the season without getting cavities, as long as you’re paying attention to what they’re eating, when and how often they’re eating, and their brushing and flossing habits. Here’s what you can do.
Make sure they’re not grazing
Eating candy is fine as long as it’s not staying on their teeth for a long period of time, and it’s being washed away when the snacking is through. If your child is eating candy with every meal (and in between meals), there is a better chance that their teeth are being attacked by acid. Allow them to eat their candy at one time during the day, rather than sprinkled throughout. And make sure the rest of their meals and snacks are with foods that encourage saliva production.
Pay Attention to Their Oral Health Routine
Even if your kids are older, if they’re eating a lot more candy than they normally do (which they are doing on Halloween), you need to make sure they are brushing and flossing properly. Luckily, there are ways to do that without creepily standing outside the bathroom listening to them brush. Try getting them an electric toothbrush with a timer, or use a brushing app that sends reports. Waiting until they have a cavity and then telling them they should have been brushing better will not help them avoid the cavities.
Have Them Drink Water, and Make Sure It's Fluoridated
If they are eating a boatload of candy, they don’t need juice or soda. Really, they don’t need juice or soda anyway. Make sure they are drinking plenty of fluoridated water throughout the day. If your city doesn’t have fluoride in it, look into a fluoride rinse or have your dentist prescribe fluoride tablets.
See Your Dentist Regularly
When your child goes for their checkup, their dentist will be able to see if there is tooth decay beginning to form. When you wait too long, there is less chance that they will catch it before it becomes a cavity. Keep up with your kids’ dentist appointments no matter what, but especially during the Halloween season.
Above all, we want your kids to have a great time at Halloween and that they don’t have to think about needing a filling when it’s all over.