Your kids have just gotten home from a long night of trick-or-treating, and they dump pillowcases full of candy onto your living room floor. Before they dive in, you wonder: What can I do to protect their dental health when they are surrounded by so many treats? The first step, many experts say, is helping the kids organize their candy and allowing them to keep only their favorite kinds.
By getting rid of all the extra candy, you will limit the amount of sugar they are exposed to over the following days. Next, eliminate the sticky candies and hard candies. These types of treats remain on your teeth long after the candy has been consumed, causing more damage than a piece of chocolate or peanut butter cup would. In addition, hard candies can chip a child’s tooth or cause them to choke, so it is better to eliminate all of those varieties immediately.
Getting rid of sticky candy is especially important if you have a child with braces; candies like Laffy Taffy can do damage to orthodontic appliances and potentially cost you hundreds of dollars in repair work. Finally, experts recommend that you set aside a certain time each day (for example, after dinner) to allow the kids to have a few pieces of their remaining candy. By keeping a consistent time for treats, you can make sure your children brush their teeth immediately afterward to get rid of harmful sugars.
This is not typically possible at school, so avoid packing pieces in their lunches. When in doubt, talk to a True Care Advantage pediatrician about the best ways to prevent tooth decay in children. Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for your children’s oral health!