Halloween Tips For Healthy Teeth
Kids, don’t ‘spook’ your parents with an unhealthy sugar intake on October 31st.
Although relatively new in the UK as a major festival, Halloween has rapidly caught on, becoming especially popular with young children. Whilst some of this is the dressing up and being ‘scary’ aspect of it, there is little doubt that it is the ‘treat’ part of ‘trick or treat’ that children find most appealing.
As we approach the Halloween season, our Streatham children’s dentist at the Confidental Clinic offers some tips on how to keep your children’s teeth healthy at this time of year.
Don’t eat sweets continually
Whilst sugar consumption is bad for your teeth, it is especially so if there is a constant supply to the teeth and gums. Continually eating sweets causes the acids to build up and damage to occur. Make sure to have lengthy breaks between eating sweets to allow the saliva to wash away the sugars.
Opt for ‘quick’ sweets
The worst sweets for your teeth are those that remain in the mouth for a long time. Sweets that are sucked, or chewy sweets such as toffee are the worst for your teeth as they come into contact for longer periods of time. Try to opt for those that require little chewing and can be swallowed quickly.
Cut back in other areas
During periods such as Halloween, when your children are eating more sweets than they usually would, try to reduce their sugar intake in other areas. A good example of this would be to replace or dilute any fruit juices that are usually drunk with plain water. This will lessen the sugars in the mouth whilst also hydrating more efficiently.
Brush, brush, brush
Cleaning your teeth is important at any time, but is especially important at times when your children are eating a lot of sweets. Extra supervision may be in order here too, to ensure that they brush them correctly and for at least two minutes. If your children are old enough, try to encourage the use of dental floss as well.
Offer other treats
There are many Halloween foods which are much lower in sugar, or sugar free, and, where possible, try to introduce these as an alternative to sweets. Foods might include the likes of pumpkin soup, roasted vegetables or fresh fruit.
Use sugar free gum
Although brushing your teeth morning and evening is essential, there is no harm in having a pack or two of sugar free gum handy during the day time to help minimise the effect of a temporary high sugar intake. Kids tend to like chewing gum, and using a sugar free gum will help to remove some of the sugar and bacteria from the teeth in between their brushing times.
We hope that you all have a happy Halloween, and don’t get ‘tricked’ too often. In addition to following the above advice, make sure that your kids receive regular and ongoing dental care with one of our Streatham dental team. To arrange an appointment, please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8674 2052.