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Oct 27
Blog: Kids’ Teeth and Halloween

While busy planning, shopping, and sewing little witch, vampire, superhero, and princess costumes, there are ways you can plan to protect your children’s teeth from all the impending sugar. 

“Halloween is so much fun, and I enjoy seeing kids’ faces light up over their bags of goodies as much as anyone,” says Jennifer L’Heureux, DMD, MPH, Saratoga Hospital Medical Group – Dentistry. “The best preparation for all this sugar is for kids to have been brushing their teeth twice a day and flossing once a day the whole year before. When they do eat candy, make sure they brush their teeth soon afterward. Don’t let it stay on their teeth any longer than necessary.”

Dr. L’Heureux and our dental team at Saratoga Community Health Center have several suggestions on how to let your little goblins and munchkins enjoy their treats while minimizing any tricks to their teeth:

  • As always, inspect the candy before they eat it. Any doubt – throw it out. 
  • Bring a bottle of water for each child as they are walking through the neighborhoods. Drinking water immediately after eating candy, especially if they swish, will help until they can get to their toothbrushes.
  • Brush as soon as they get home, and again after they eat their candy.
  • Halloween is a good lesson in delayed gratification. Teach children how to decide what to eat now and what to save to be doled out over the winter. 
  • Trick or treat on a full stomach. 
  • Don’t let them eat the worst candy – sticky ones – right before bedtime. Be picky if it’s sticky.
  • Chocolate is the best candy—it’s easiest to remove. Sours can erode tooth enamel, hard candies can crack teeth and are a choking hazard, and the stickier the candy, the harder they are to remove. 

According to the American Dental Association, the longer candy stays on your teeth, the more time cavity-causing bacteria has to do damage. For more on best and worst candies visit the American Dental Association’s candy guide. To learn more about our dental services, please visit our website.

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