Halloween Health: Dental Tips for a Cavity-less Holiday

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Halloween is the time of year for spooky costume parties, haunted houses, and trick-or-treating. One of the only downsides to this frighteningly fun holiday is the scary results it can have on your teeth. Dentists warn parents every fall about the potential for cavities during the Halloween holiday season. To avoid horrifying results at your child’s next dental visit, you can follow these helpful tips for a healthy Halloween.

Avoid Sticky Sweets

When trick-or-treaters knock on doors throughout the neighborhood, they’re offered a whole host of different types of candy. Among the most popular are sticky sweets such as caramels, gumdrops, and tootsie rolls. These sticky sweets are notorious for lodging themselves in the crevices of back molars. The results are often monstrous. If you’re taking your child trick-or-treating and you find yourselves at a home with a variety of different candy options, encourage your child to choose candies that will do less damage, such as chocolate bars.

Forgo Fake Fangs

Kids dressing up like vampires is all the rage this time of year. But wearing frightening fake fangs after chewing on candy can be a recipe for dental disaster. Now there are even flavored fangs on the market that actually have liquid candy inserted right inside them. These flavored fangs spread harmful cavity-causing sugars all over the teeth the entire time your little would-be Draculas are wearing them! Avoiding fake fangs altogether is a smart way to help prevent cavities. If you have an aspiring vampire that insists on wearing fake fangs, make sure they don’t wear their fangs immediately after eating sweets. Instead, have them brush their teeth thoroughly and use children’s mouthwash both before and after wearing their vampire fangs.

Consider Candy Alternatives

Though candy is the traditional treat used to distribute to neighborhood ghosts and goblins on Halloween, there’s no reason you need to stick to this tradition. Many children are just as delighted to receive a small toy or novelty item, such as a bouncy ball, cool eraser, sticker, or plastic spider ring. Though many of your neighbors may still choose to pass out candy, changing up your own treat distribution habits may get others to rethink their treat choices as well. At the very least, you won’t have all those leftover cavity-causing treats hanging around the house after Halloween that didn’t get passed out.

Remember Regular Dental Hygiene Routines

The Halloween season can be filled with late nights, whether it be from parties, visits to haunted houses, or trick-or-treating. Be sure that when your children return home from the festivities of the evening that they remember to pay attention to their night-time brushing, flossing, and mouthwash routine. Leaving sticky, sugary candy residue on your teeth for eight or more hours creates the perfect breeding ground for plaque buildup. That’s why making sure to brush before bed each night all year long is one of the biggest keys to cavity prevention.

Participate in a Candy Buy Back

In recent years Livermore dentists and other businesses have gotten become proactive in helping parents protect their children’s dental health this time of year. They’ve done so by establishing local Halloween candy buybacks. Participating organizations actually provide parents and their kids who bring in extra Halloween candy they don’t plan to eat with prizes such as cash, toothbrushes, coupons, trinkets, and more. Look for a Halloween candy buyback location near you to keep your children’s Halloween candy intake limited to a reasonable amount.

Your trick-or-treater can still enjoy Halloween without ruining their teeth. With a little creativity you can come up with healthier alternatives to the most damaging types of treats. Have a safe, happy, and healthy Halloween!

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