This is the time of year when ghosts and goblins come out to play. But do you know what’s even scarier than vampires, monsters, and zombies? Tooth decay and damaged braces! Our team here at Olson Orthodontics knows that sugary treats and Halloween go hand-in-hand, so it’s important to know how to take care of your kids’ teeth.
Brush Away the Sugar
The most important thing to remember this time of year is to keep up with your everyday healthy habits. Always brush and floss after eating sugary treats. Be sure to clean between brackets and wires and if your child wears Invisalign®, make sure they brush before reinserting their trays. There are all kinds of treats that contain sugar – candy, sodas, sports drinks, and even some crackers have a lot of sugar in them too. You can help know what will leave sugar on your kiddos’ teeth by checking the labels. Remind your children to brush right after enjoying treats so that there isn’t sugar left on their teeth that can lead to tooth decay.
We’re not asking kids to avoid candy altogether, but it’s important to know what is the easiest on their teeth. Chocolate is soft and washes off of the teeth the most easily. Sticky candies such as gummies or hard candy are hard because they can leave residue on teeth that is difficult to get off and they can stick in braces. There’s also a chance of potentially breaking wires, brackets, or even your teeth when it comes to hard candies.
Some great alternatives to candy are sugar-free gum, cheese sticks, popcorn, sugar-free applesauce, and pretzels. And it doesn’t just have to be edible treats that you give out. Fun pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos, and glow sticks are always fun alternatives to fill any Halloween bag. Another great Halloween idea is bottled water. It gives teeth a quick rinse after sugary snacking and keeps little bodies hydrated while trick or treating.
Not Just Halloween
October kicks off the holiday seasons from Halloween to Valentine’s Day where sugary treats are the most prevalent. It’s important this time of year to remember to practice good oral health to keep your kids’ mouths healthy. Tooth decay is scary all year long, but good choices and healthy habits are your most effective tool. Questions or concerns? Give us a call at (618) 624-0800!