Halloween for most children means bags of free sweets and a chance to build up the stockpile of sweets for the winter. Being one of the most fun times of the year for families, Halloween
can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges.
Here is a list of suggestions to help parents maintain good oral health for their children around the Halloween holiday and throughout the year:
- Consume Halloween sweets and other sugary foods with meals as saliva production increases during meals and helps neutralise acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.
- Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time.
- Besides how often you snack, the length of time food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, sweets that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to prolonged acid attack, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Avoid sticky sweets that cling to your teeth. The stickier sweets, like toffee and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay
- Drink more water. Consuming optimally fluoridated (tap) water can help prevent tooth decay.
- Maintain a healthy diet and make sure the meals you eat are nutritious. Your body is like a complex machine. The foods you choose as fuel and how often you “fill up” affect your general health and that of your teeth and gums.
- Avoid beverages with added sugar such as soda, sports drinks or flavoured waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, first thing in the morning and at one other time.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed. A worn toothbrush won’t do a good job of cleaning your teeth.
- Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
- Decay-causing bacteria still linger between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach. Flossing helps remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line.
Visit a dentist for more information on maintaining your oral health.