How to Improve Your Children’s Dental Health after Halloween
Halloween is a day children look forward to almost as much as Christmas. But for parents, the challenge of keeping their kids healthy in the aftermath of a holiday in which they collect (on average) over 100 pieces of candy can be challenging to say the least. On the surface, Halloween is a health-conscious parent’s worst nightmare. However, with some creativity, parents can turn this challenge into an opportunity to foster better oral health throughout the year.
Here are five tips to help your children develop good habits after Halloween:
Designate a Set Time to Eat Candy: The best time for kids to eat candy is during or shortly after a meal in lieu of (or instead of) dessert. The reason is that while eating meals, saliva production goes up, helping to rinse acids from the candy. The worst thing you can do is allowing your kids to snack on candy all day. This creates a constant bacterial attack on their mouths, leading to tooth decay, cavities, and other oral health problems. Make sure there are only certain times during the day the kids are allowed to eat candy. As always, keep their intake limited during those times.
Discourage the Wrong Kinds of Candy: Not all candy is created equal. There are certain types that are particularly hard on the mouth. Examples include sticky candy that sticks and clings to the teeth all day and hard candy that is sucked on for long periods of time. It is best to steer your kids away from candies that will remain in their mouths for an extended period.
Avoid Unhealthy Beverages while Eating Candy: Another thing that can exacerbate the negative effects of eating candy is combining it with beverages that have high sugar content such as sodas and sports drinks. It is much better to have them drink purified, distilled, or spring water.
Set up a Regular Schedule for Teeth Brushing: Getting your kids to brush their teeth can be quite difficult, but it is made much easier if you put them on a regular schedule. At the very minimum, your children should be brushing their teeth after waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night. Ideally, they should do it a third time in school. Some elementary school teachers set aside time for their kids to do this. If your child’s teacher does not, this may be something to suggest at the next parent-teacher conference. Because of the importance of establishing a regular brushing routine, it is highly recommended that you provide some type of incentive (at least for a while) to encourage them to form the habit.
Start the Kids Flossing Regularly: Flossing is another very important habit to get started young. Far too many children (and adults) do not floss even once a week. Going several days without flossing allows food particles to take hold in the teeth and inflict damage. To avoid this, have your kids floss their teeth at least once a day. The best time is at night before their evening brush.
About the Author:
Eicon Dental is a full-service, affordable family dental practice located in Tempe, AZ. Our goal is to provide outstanding dental care to patients in the Tempe and Phoenix area (including ASU students) at affordable prices while providing comprehensive treatment plans and using restorative / cosmetic dentistry to achieve optimal dental health.