Do you have your Halloween plans in place? For many families in our community, next weekend will involve hitting the street to trick or treat in fun costumes and of course, obtain a ton of candy. While a few sugary treats are okay, too much could mean an increase in painful cavities. Which is why in today’s blog, your Richardson, TX, dentist is offering a few tips to help reduce the chances of cavities forming following your Halloween fun.
The Link Between Candy and Tooth Decay
What happens when you or your kids eat too many treats high in sugar? Well, particles from them could become caught between the teeth, clinging to the outside of them, or if you have braces, become trapped in your orthodontics. Harmful oral bacteria will then make a meal of them, and in the process of consuming them, create higher levels of oral acidity and coat the teeth in plaque. This buildup cannot be removed by brushing and flossing alone, and could weaken and erode the outer enamel to cause tooth decay to develop. Over time, this decay could mean tooth sensitivity and painful toothaches, as well as a higher risk of infection. Which is why in today’s blog, our team wants to offer a few tips to help prevent this process and safeguard your smiles against the onset of tooth decay.
Limiting the Risk of a Cavity
First, when your kids return home with their Halloween haul, try to limit how many they consume each day. We recommend one or two pieces just after dinner. Even better, if your children drink a glass of water this helps rinse away particles of sugar too. Families could also let their little ones pick their favorite pieces from the haul, and allow them to trade the rest in for toys or non-sugary sweets. This process lets kids trick or treat, enjoy some candy, and still lower the risk of cavities forming in their little smiles.
Offering Healthy Options for Neighborhood Kids
Will your house be giving out candy? Then you have a chance to make a difference! Instead of sugary candies, why not hand out individually sealed packages of sugar free gum, nuts, or trail mix? These are healthier and less likely to cause a cavity. You could also provide party favors that can be purchased in bulk, such as plastic spider rings, tiny skeletons, or rubber bats. If you do decide to go with candy, consider avoiding ones like taffy or caramel, which are chewy and could remain trapped in the teeth, or hard candies, which could potentially damage teeth or coat the teeth in sugar as kids suck on them.
Safety Tips for Kids and Adults
Along with smile safety, let’s talk about general safety. When your children go trick or treating, make sure they have a flashlight, or reflective tape on their clothing or glow sticks, so they’re more easily seen by cars. Always stay on sidewalks, never walk in the road, and cross only at intersections and crosswalks. Explain to your little ones to never enter a stranger’s home or car, and make sure they’re always accompanied by a parent or guardian. Only visit houses with porch lights on, and if you’re experienced COVID-19 symptoms, then turn off your porch light and don’t hand out candy. This let’s everyone have a safe and happy Halloween!
Better Oral Hygiene at Home
Along with limiting how many sweets they can eat; you should also make sure your kids practice good oral hygiene habits. Every morning, children should brush their teeth for about two minutes, and use a fluoride toothpaste when they do. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay by fortifying the outer enamel. Your little ones should repeat this process in the evening, and also floss thoroughly, as this reaches what could be beyond a toothbrush’s bristles.
Checkups and Cleanings
A checkup and cleaning visit is also important! A checkup lets us examine your child’s smile, and yours as well, and identify any possible areas of concern. For many, we treat cavities before discomfort arises, and could halt their progress with Silver Diamine Fluoride. We also have lifelike composite resin fillings too, and preventive treatments like fluoride varnish and dental sealants to lower the risk of cavities. During the same visit, we can also clean the teeth, a process that carefully removes all plaque buildup from the teeth. Scheduling such a visit now is a great idea, as the hectic holiday season is right around the corner. Make their final visits for a checkup and cleaning today, so they can end 2021 with a brighter and stronger smile!
COVID-19 Safety Tips
If you have concerns about the spread of COVID-19, we understand. Which is why our office has maintained the changes to our protocols that we implemented in the early months of the pandemic. These protocols limit how many people are in the office and waiting room, and help fight the spread of the disease. We’ve also added new and advanced technologies, which help clean the air and surfaces of harmful particles several times throughout the day. When heading out on Halloween, remember to wear a mask indoors (and your Halloween one isn’t enough) and to regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Parents, you should check your children’s candy before they eat it, too.
If you have any questions about preventing cavities during this spooky time of year, or if you would like to schedule a checkup and cleaning visit with our team for your little ones, then please contact our team today to learn more. We want to make sure everyone in our community enjoys healthy and beautiful smiles for years to come!
Your Richardson, TX, Dentist Discusses Cavity Prevention
Our team wants to make sure your family continues to enjoy good oral health and avoid a painful cavity. For more information on the best ways to enjoy your spooky fun without leaving smiles vulnerable to tooth decay, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). With a few simple changes to you daily routine, your family can enjoy a lowered risk of tooth decay.