Halloween can be a real horror for parents concerned about their children’s teeth. The average American eats 25 pounds of candy annually, with a high percentage of it being eating on Halloween. Candy usually contains sugar, which the bacteria that cause tooth decay dine on. So eating a food loaded with carbohydrate or sugar feeds that bacteria. To avoid negative impacts from candy, The Natural Dentist offers the following tips to scare away tooth decay nightmares any time of year.
* Limit Candy Consumption: To avoid some of the post-holiday excess, ask kids to sort their candy into piles: one for the treats that they don’t like much and the other for the sweets they love. Then consider giving the candy in the pile they don’t like to a nursing home, local food kitchen, etc.
* Lessen Amount of Time Sugar is Present in Mouth: Eat the candy quickly in one sitting to decrease the amount of time it is contact with the teeth. Avoid eating any candy slowly over an extended time or over multiple sittings.
* Avoid sticky candy such as taffy, gummy bears, caramel, etc. Sticky candy adheres to teeth and causes decay.
* Consume the candy with a meal. This is important if brushing right after consuming candy is not possible. The increased saliva production while eating will help wash the sweet off the teeth.
* Chew a sugarless gum (especially those containing xylitol) after snacking on candy. The increased saliva from chewing will help wash the sugar off the teeth and xylitol gums help control the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
* Pay attention to what toothpaste/mouthwash your kids are using. These products should not contain alcohol or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The Natural Dentist has a wide array of toothpastes that are free of paraben, dyes, flavors, colors, and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The mouth rinses are also free of artificial flavor and color and do not contain alcohol.