If you’re brave enough to risk a peek around the corner, you’ll notice that Halloween, 2020 is nearly here! It’s time to stock up on sweets, snacks, candy, chocolate and well, everything that children love to gorge on. But before you let the children embark on the eerie expeditions that are more commonly known as ‘trick or treat!’, it’s important to be aware and informed about the dental care perils that surface during this spooky season or you just might find that your children encounter a scare that is very much real – cavities and tooth decay.
The Dangers That Halloween Poses To Teeth
Before we examine the reasons why dental disasters are increasingly frequent during Halloween, do be warned that it is not just kids who are at risk! Poor dental care and lowered oral hygiene levels during this festive period can affect anybody, adults included. However, for a variety of reasons, children find themselves at increased risk, mainly because –
- Their teeth are not permanent and hence are not as strong as an adult’s teeth.
- If their milk teeth have fallen out, leaving them with temporarily missing teeth then the root could be exposed to more damage.
- Children tend to eat a lot more candy than adults, who know better, or so we hope!
- Kids do not have access to the same dental care techniques that adults do, for example – activated charcoal teeth whitening products.
Now That We’ve Seen Why Kids Are at Higher Risk, Here’s What the Risks Are
- Damage to milk teeth, which can lead them to them falling out or being removed too early.
- Cavities in the molars and premolars. Milk teeth are softer, less sturdy and more prone to damage.
- Damage to root or the canal in places where teeth have already fallen out.
Discoloration or yellowing from excess sugar that remains in the mouth for too long and improper dental care habits.
Effective Dental Care Tips For Halloween
After educating yourself on the dangers of tooth decay and the reasons behind them, it’s time for the most important part. What can be done to prevent it? While these tips are meant for children, they are also applicable to adults, who would do well to keep them in mind and apply them properly, setting an example in the process.
Dental Care Tips For Halloween –
- Be careful about what kind of candy you purchase. Not all candy is the same. Sugar free options are a healthy alternative, for example. It is essential to keep in mind that your candy choices not only affect your own kids but also other children who come trick or treating at your doorstep.
- Say no to sticky candy. Candy and sweets such as gummy bears and gum are particularly bad for oral hygiene as they have the tendency to stick around and remain in the mouth for long hours after consumption.
- Make sure you or your kids do not binge eat sweets. Ultimately, the longer the sugar stays in the mouth, the more harmful it is.
- Restrict candy consumption to one particular time, preferably post meals. This allows kids to eat their fill of sweets as dessert and prevents them from munching on them all through the day.
- Drink loads of water. Staying hydrated is always important but even more so during Halloween. Constantly drinking water rinses your mouth clean and prevents sugar, sweets and bits of candy from settling between teeth and in tiny corners.
- Enforce proper oral hygiene habits. For kids, it would be prudent to brush their teeth once after every meal rather than just in the morning and night. Make sure kids rinse their mouths with a high-quality mouth wash as well.
- Switch to a toothpaste with higher fluoride content. Fluoride is excellent for maintaining enamel, the hard, protective, outermost layer of the teeth. While the fluoride content of children’s dental care products should not be too high, it’s a good idea to switch toothpastes temporarily.
- Visit a dentist as soon as Halloween is done. For children, the best way to get deep cleaning done between their teeth and in the narrow crevices of their mouths, is to visit a dentist. Try to book an appointment with the family dentist as soon as the celebrations are over!
Those are the most important tips and steps to follow that can prevent children from suffering short and long-term damage from consumption of sweets and candy during Halloween. Remember to celebrate responsibly!