Everyone gets excited for Halloween candy, even Tigard Dentist, Dr. Justin Marostica! He admits his favorite Halloween candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. But we also all know that sugar and sweets can be the cause of tooth decay – better known as cavities.
Dr. Marostica has 3 suggestions for parents about how they can care for their children’s teeth after Halloween candy.
- Educate your children about the dangers of consuming too much candy. The best way to do this is to let kids know, that the “cavity bugs” in our mouth use candy to make our teeth soft and turn them black. If they eat too much candy over a long period of time those “cavity bugs” get stronger and bigger which can cause their teeth to hurt or turn black.
Now the point of these conversations is not to scare your children, but the realities of cavities and toothaches can be scary. If taught in a loving and kind manner, children will remember these lessons for a long time and it can help shape their attitudes toward sweets and hopefully promote good oral hygiene.
- Allow your children to sell or trade in their candy for something that is not candy. Many local dentists will host a “Candy Buy Back” where they might give one dollar per pound of candy and then donate the candy to the homeless or troops serving overseas. If you don’t have a dentist that hosts a “Candy Buy Back”, you can buy back the candy as a parent or let them trade it in for a toy or a trip to the movies. The options are endless!
When your children trade in their candy it will show them that they don’t need all the candy to be happy. Giving it to those that might be less fortunate will teach them charity, and most of all it will save their teeth from the harmful effects of prolonged exposure to sugar.
- The last suggestion that Dr. Marostica has for parents wondering how to care for their children’s teeth after Halloween is to use this time to teach good oral hygiene and dietary habits. Most of us love candy and it is okay to eat candy, but it is how we care for our teeth after we eat candy that matters the most.
After your children have devoured all their candy on Halloween night, it is good to take most of it away. If your children are like mine, they will come home with a huge pillowcase full of candy! We know that to eat all that candy might take over a year. When you take away the candy the day after Halloween your children won’t be able to continually bathe their teeth in sugar, which is how cavities occur.
After they have eaten their candy, have them rinse their mouths with water, followed with flossing, brushing their teeth and lastly, using a mouthwash that contains sodium fluoride. Then it is important to explain how the things they eat can affect the health of their bodies. Make sure to show them what foods are healthy and which ones they should eat in moderation.
Halloween should be a fun time for both children and adults. Remembering to take care of your teeth after all of that candy might save you time and money at the dentist office.