Halloween might feel like a holiday made for creating tooth decay, but the truth is that it is actually a great time to teach your kids about how to prevent cavities and about making healthy choices. It is nearly impossible to avoid Halloween candy altogether, but there are some simple and fun ways in which you can minimize the sugar overload after trick-or-treating is over.
Brush Away the Treats
Whether your child eats one piece of candy or ten, it is essential to brush properly to prevent tooth decay. A brand new toothbrush is always a fun way to get your child excited about brushing. Be sure to drop one in your child’s Halloween treat bucket, along with some floss, before they head out for the night.
After indulging in Halloween treats, have your child both brush and floss, since candy can easily get stuck between teeth. Remind your child of proper brushing techniques. Show him how to move the brush back and forth against his teeth and gums with short, gentle strokes and how to place the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gumline. Younger children will need your help to brush and floss thoroughly.
Make a Candy Plan
The best thing you can do to avoid going overboard with Halloween candy is to prepare ahead of time. Have a talk with your child about what the plan will be after the bucket is brimming with candy. It helps to give your child options from which to choose, such as whether they would like to keep the candy and parcel it out slowly or trade it in for a no-sugar reward. Another idea is to set a limit on the number of houses that you visit or to simply have your child fill a smaller bag. Regardless of what you decide, the most important part is to establish the rules beforehand. It can be especially helpful for younger children to repeat the conversation a few times.
Discussing your plan for Halloween candy is also a great opportunity to talk about the importance of limiting consumption of sweets. Explain to your child how to make healthy choices for one’s body and teeth, what foods are the best for overall and dental health and how to prevent cavities with brushing and flossing.
Not So Sweet Rewards
There are a lot of alternatives to simply deciding whether or not you will allow your child to indulge in Halloween sweets. A candy swap is a great way to let your child enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating without overloading on sweets. The basic concept is to swap your child’s candy for a non-candy treat, such as a toy that your child has wanted for some time or an activity he has wanted to try. You can also extend the swap by trading out small amounts at a time rather than the whole thing at once; for example, you can allow your child to pick one piece of Halloween candy a day but then give them the opportunity to do a daily trade for something as simple as a sticker.
Remember that Halloween does not have to be scary for dental health. Use it as a teachable moment to help your child learn about moderation and dental care. You will set your child up for a future of healthy choices.
From Colgate Toothpaste
If you love your teeth as much as we do, then you’d probably like to keep them around for as long as possible. Here at Evelyn Ascough, DDS we’re all about practicing preventative dentistry, and if you want to grow old with all your teeth, we can show you how.
You’ve heard about the importance of brushing and flossing your teeth, and it’s true that these are the two most important things you can do for your oral hygiene. The key is to make sure you are brushing and flossing correctly.
Here are a few points to consider when brushing your teeth:
-Brush your teeth after every meal to make sure you clean away bacteria before it can stick.
-Buy a soft-bristled toothbrush and brush gently to avoid damaging your gums.
-Angle the brush towards your gums and make sure to brush along the gum-line.
-Brush for two to three minutes, but no longer, to avoid unnecessary abrasion.
-Flossing your teeth is just as important as brushing, so make sure to floss at least once a day as well.
-Use a water pick remove food lodged between the teeth.
-Gargle with antiseptic rinses to kill infection-causing bacteria.
-Use fluoride toothpastes and rinses to fortify your enamel.
Even if you brush your teeth like a pro, bacteria can still sneak down below your gum-line and hide there, waiting for the chance to infect your gums. That’s why it’s so important to keep up with your biannual visits to Evelyn Ascough, DDS.
Here are of the few of the ways we help to keep your mouth and teeth healthy:
-Regular oral examinations ensure your teeth and gums are in healthy condition. If any problems do exist, it is best to catch them as early as possible.
-Digital x-rays, when necessary, to make sure there are no hidden cavities, infections, or other dental risks.
-Get regular teeth-cleaning treatments to remove the plaque and tartar buildup that is difficult to remove with regular brushing and flossing. Clean teeth are happy teeth!
-For cases of heavy buildup or risk of gum disease, we perform a full-mouth deep scaling with specialized tools to clean away buildup and promote healing of the gum tissue.
-Dental lasers for disinfecting more virulent types of bacteria and for performing LANAP to remediate periodontal disease.
Bonus: Regular visits to the dentist may save you money and pain by preventing big problems before they happen!
We all want a beautiful smile. There are things your can do yourself to make that happen.
1. Ax the Dental Visit Anxiety
If being in the dentist’s chair makes you anxious, encourage calm by bringing a music player and headphones to your next appointment. And because some people hold their breath when they’re nervous — boosting that anxious feeling — focus on breathing regularly. Above all, communicate with your dentist. They understand your fears and want to help.
2. Floss First or Brush First?
Flossing first helps make brushing your teeth more effective by removing food that gets trapped between teeth. If handling floss flusters you, look for floss holders at the drugstore. When it’s time to brush, be sure to angle bristles 45-degree at the gum line, then brush gently, moving the brush back and forth.
3. Go Easy With Toothpicks
If you don’t have floss, a toothpick will work to remove food stuck between teeth, but be gentle. It’s easy to press too hard and damage your gums, or even worse, break off a toothpick below the gum line. Floss helps remove food from between teeth better than a toothpick and fights plaque buildup by getting rid of bacteria that form there. Regularly using a toothpick to remove food trapped in a single area may indicate a bigger problem that requires a dentist’s attention.
4. Replace Your Toothbrush
Toothbrush bristles fray, flatten, and wear over time. To help keep your smile bright, replace your manual toothbrush every three or four months; for electric toothbrush heads, follow the manufacturer’s advice. Feeling sick? Avoid harboring germs by replacing your toothbrush at the beginning and end of your illness.
5. Say Cheese for White Teeth!
The casein and whey protein in cheese can help keep your tooth enamel in top form by reducing demineralization. A bonus: Cheese also has vital, tooth-building calcium. Don’t forget to include vitamin D in your diet, which helps your body absorb calcium. A few vitamin D-rich foods include milk, egg yolks, and fish.
Thanks to WebMD for this great article.