Knoxville and Maryville, TN
Halloween is here, and for your children, that means one thing: Candy, and lots of it. We all know about the potential threats to dental health that come from overindulging on sugary foods, but as parents, you do not want to deprive your children of getting to participate in one of the most kid-friendly holidays of the entire year. Don’t worry; your Knoxville family dentists at Crestview Dental Care have some solutions. Follow this guide to protect your children’s teeth this Halloween while still celebrating the fun and spooky holiday.
Avoid these treats this Halloween: When you eat chewy and sticky candies, particles can adhere to your teeth, where they are converted into the bacteria that form the initial building blocks of tooth decay. These chewy candies also might collect in areas your toothbrush cannot reach well, where they can become potential breeding grounds for cavities. Specific treats that should be avoided include gummy worms, taffy, and even dried fruit.
Stay away from sour: The only thing that threatens your dental health as much as sugar is acid. Consuming foods and drinks that are highly acidic can threaten tooth enamel—the valuable outer layer of tooth structure that serves as a protective barrier against decay. If your child does indulge in sour candy, follow up by eating some crunchy fruit or veggies, or chewing a piece of sugar-free gum. Either will generate production of saliva, which will lower the pH balance in the mouth and counter the presence of the acid.
Feel free to go sugar-free: Sugar-free candies are more prevalent than ever, in a wide variety of brands and flavors. Sugar-free lollipops and hard candies contain less acid, which may encourage saliva production, which can naturally clean your mouth of accumulated food particles.
Go savory, not sweet: Who says Halloween has to be all about candy? Most kids also love chomping on pretzels, crackers, and trail mix—and many of these items come in snack-sized portions and possibly even in Halloween-themed packaging at this time of year. Distributing these snacks can be a nice change of pace from all of the candy. They also are low in sugar and acid, making them a safer option for teeth.
Buy it back: It’s become popular with many dentists, but households also have started a “buy-back” program for the excess of candy that comes pouring in each Halloween. Offering something as simple as a penny per piece of candy could add up to 10 or 20 dollars for your child—depending on their Halloween haul.
Balance is key: Moderation is so important in any aspect of life. Your child should be able to enjoy Halloween without feasting on so much candy that his or her dental health becomes jeopardized. You can let your kids enjoy celebrating Halloween while emphasizing certain treats that are more smile-friendly than other choices. The last thing you want to do is forbid your child of candy during the holidays, as this can encourage unhealthy habits later in life.
Dental hygiene: As always, no matter what your child eats, practicing good oral hygiene by brushing their teeth and flossing daily will help decrease their risk of cavities. Remember also to visit us twice a year for those routine checkups and cleanings!
Part of balance is finding the right health professionals to care for your needs. Crestview Dental Care can provide top-quality dental care in Knoxville for any member of your family, at any age. Our team possesses special training to work with pediatric patients. To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, please call our office at (865) 982-1700.
Crestview Dental Care is proud to serve the needs of patients in the areas of Knoxville and Maryville in Tennessee.