While many communities in our area will be avoiding traditional trick or treating, kids will still likely enjoy their favorite Halloween treats at home or in small gatherings. Which means there is a likelihood of increased cavity risk! In today’s blog, your Garland, TX, dentist will explain what parents can to protect little smiles from cavities this Halloween.
The Causes of Cavities in Little Smiles
When children consume foods and drinks high in sugar, this leaves behind particles on and between the teeth. Poor oral hygiene habits could allow these particles to remain on or between the teeth. Bacteria then break them down, a process that elevates oral acidity and then coats the teeth in a sticky layer of plaque buildup. Unless removed with a cleaning, plaque causes demineralization and erodes enamel, causing cavities to form! In older kids, the gums could also become inflamed and lead to the symptoms of gingivitis.
Safely Consuming Sweets
First, try to avoid items that contain taffy or caramel, or gummy materials, as these tend to stick to the teeth. Chocolate, while sugary, tends or rinse away pretty easily. Try to limit your kids’ intake to a couple pieces after a meal. Have them wash down their treats with a glass of water. You can also offer them the chance to exchange their candy! They could trade them to you for a few dollars, or maybe a new toy or video game, so everyone wins, even their smile!
Handing Out Alternatives
If you find yourself in a situation in which you’re handing out sweets, try to opt for smile-healthy alternatives. For example, give out Halloween-related party favors, stickers, pencils, or other fun prizes. You can keep the spirit, while cutting back on the potential harm to little smiles.
To further reduce risk, be sure your child brushes when they wake up and again before bed for two minutes using a fluoride toothpaste. Make sure they floss too! Consider scheduling a checkup and cleaning visit too, so we can monitor the smile and then remove any plaque and tartar from the smile completely. We also have fluoride treatments and dental sealants to further limit the risk of tooth decay in your child’s smile.
If you are going out, be sure everyone wears a mask and remains at least six feet away from others. Avoid indoor gatherings when possible too.
DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILDREN’S DENTISTRY?
Our team is ready to help your family enjoy strong and healthy smiles, even after Halloween. To learn more about our approach to children’s dentistry, then schedule a consultation by calling Mai Dentistry in Garland, TX, today at 972-530-0552. For our patients who don’t speak English, our office is fluent in both Spanish and Vietnamese.