Fall is in the air; cooler temperatures and colorful leaves can only mean one thing: Halloween is upon us, and it’s time for kids to stockpile sugary treats for the winter. Here are some simple steps you can follow to help your children avoid tooth decay:
1. Allow small amounts of candy with meals. The increased saliva will help wash the sugar from children’s mouths.
2. Stay away from hard, sticky or chewy candies. The longer a candy is stuck on the tooth, the more likely it is to lead to decay.
3. While eating candy, encourage children to drink lots of fluoridated water, and/or chew sugar-free gum. The water will help wash away the sugar and the sugar-free gum will produce more saliva to help wash away the sugar from candy.
4. Avoid sugary liquids. Sodas, energy drinks and even juices contain sugar, which can lead to decay.
5. Encourage children to maintain a healthy diet. Healthy foods can fill your child up, making less room for candy.
6. Supervise children as they brush twice a day and floss once per day. Use ADA approved toothpaste and do not allow candy or sugary beverages, even milk, after brushing at night.
7. See your dentist for regular check-ups and help in maintaining a healthy smile.
Halloween should be a fun time for children to dress up and go trick-or-treating. By following these simple guidelines it can also be a time to help prevent tooth decay.
For more information, contact Dr. Brian Gardiner, DDS, at Dental Reflections at Briarfield at 419-866-2400, located at 3210 Briarfield Blvd. in Maumee, or visit the website at http://dentalreflectionsoh.com/.