good oral health this halloween

How to Protect your Child’s Oral Health this Halloween

Dr Devine Pediatric Dentistry

good oral health this halloweenServing Brentwood, Belle Meade and Green Hills Areas of Nashville TN

Did you know that tooth decay affects more children and adolescents in the United States than any other chronic disease? Consuming too many sugary foods and drinks can raise your risk of developing cavities, so given how the Halloween holiday revolves around candy so strongly, the spookiest night of the year also can be scary with regard to your future oral health.

At Devine Dentistry, we believe it is important to educate our patients in Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville to the potential perils of tooth decay. However, moderation also is important. After all, forbidding your children from celebrating Halloween just to protect their oral health seems rather harsh. Finding a balance is easier than you might think. Follow this guide to celebrate Halloween while still safeguarding the dental health of your children.

Not all Halloween treats are created equal

Certain candies pose a greater threat to your oral health than others

  • Treats to avoid at Halloween includes any sour, chewy and sticky candies, which are the worst culprits. Excessively sticky treats can adhere to the surfaces of your teeth, where the sugars then can be converted into the bacteria that eventually lead to cavities. Candies to avoid include gummy worms, taffy, and dried fruits. Sour candies, in addition to their sugar quantity, also threaten oral health because of the high acids that are present. Any highly acidic food and drink can deteriorate enamel, the protective outer layer of your tooth structure. If your child eats a sour treat, have them follow up by rinsing out their mouth, drinking water, or stimulating saliva production through either chewing some sugar-free gum or eating something crunchy. 
  • Smile-friendly Halloween treats include chocolates, which dissolve quickly in the mouth. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants, which can be beneficial to your overall health. If you are handing out treats this Halloween, consider sugar-free candies and lollipops, which in addition to containing zero sugar also have less acid. You also may consider stocking up on snack-sized bags or portions of pretzels, crackers, and trail mix—a savory alternative that also is low-sugar, low-acid, and stimulates saliva production when you crunch it.

Consider a buy-back program

It is rather routine for trick-or-treaters to come home with more candy than they could, or should, eat. For years, many dental practices have been promoting buy-back programs—allowing patient families to bring in extra Halloween candy and then get paid for it by the pound. You can set up one of these buyback programs in your own house; even offering a penny per piece of candy could add up to 10 or 20 dollars per child by the time everything has been counted.

Preventive Care Dentistry services in Nashville

Halloween is one of the most kid-friendly holidays of the entire calendar year. Your children can enjoy this holiday without threatening their oral health. Devine Dentistry is proud to offer family dentistry services, meaning that our comprehensive state-of-the-art oral health care is available to any patient of any age. Our program of care includes several preventive care treatments—procedures such as sealants and fluoride treatments. To learn more about our services, call the office of Devine Dentistry today at (615) 269-4209 to schedule a consultation.

Devine Dentistry is proud to care for patients in the areas of Belle Meade, Green Hills, and Nashville in Tennessee.