With Halloween just around the corner, it is always a challenge to balance the sweet treats with children’s health and safety. Here are some tips to keep in mind when celebrating the season:
Have children eat their Halloween candy and other sugary foods either with their meals or shortly after mealtime. Production of saliva increases during meals, and this helps to rinse away food particles as well as assisting in cancelling out the acids produced by bacteria in the mouth.
Avoid hard candies and sticky candies. The length of time that sugary food stays in the mouth has an effect on tooth decay. The longer the time, the more risk that particles will stick to the teeth and possibly cause decay.
Drink more water. Have a bottle of water, or better yet, fluoridated water on hand to keep your children hydrated. Drinking plenty of water will assist in washing away any sugary particles left in the mouth.
Balance the sweet treats with a healthy diet. Good foods fuel the body, affecting general health, mouth health, and even mental health. A well balanced meal will help children to feel “full”, so that they don’t overeat on only sugary foods.
Don’t forget to brush! Of course, brushing teeth twice a day with an ADA-accepted fluoride toothpaste will clean any leftover sugar residue from the teeth. Make sure brushes are replaced every 3-4 months, so that they do a good job of cleaning the teeth.