Halloween is only a couple of weeks away, and with all the sugary sweets around, it’s important to take care of your kids’ teeth.
Which is why we asked Dr Dunn, Principle Dentist at Macquarie Street Dental Surgery and Philips Sonicare ambassador, for his advice about how to keep your kids’ teeth scare-free this Halloween.
1. Nutrition is key
All parents know that nutrition has a direct impact on their children’s teeth. Your mouth is full of bacteria (plaque) that thrive on starches and sugars found in food. To protect your enamel against decay, be sure to opt for foods that don’t contain these.
Whilst you can’t escape sugar during Halloween, you can look to lower your child’s intake. Either by limiting the number of lollies they consume during the day, or looking for healthier, more fun alternatives.
2. Be selective
If you must give your child sweets and lollies at Halloween your best option is to give them chocolate. Avoid sticky, chewy and sour sweets. The sticky and chewy sweets get stuck and are difficult to remove and so sit on the teeth for longer, while sour lollies are highly acidic and break down tooth enamel.
3. Don’t reward with sugar
All too often I have parents come to my practice and say their child only gets sweets when they’re good. This encourages bad behaviour from the start. Instead of sweets, reward your child with a trip to the park or an extra cartoon. Their teeth and your dentist bill will benefit in the long run.
4. Start good oral health care habits early
Teaching your children to brush for two minutes twice a day will help set them on the right path. You can make brushing more fun by letting your kids practice on your teeth (remember to brush properly afterwards) or making a game out of brushing each tooth.
If your child has recently eaten sweets, have them rinse immediately with water or a fluoride rinse to remove/neutralise the plaque. If they’re heading out for their night of ‘trick or treating’ you may also have them use a re-mineralisation agent such as ‘tooth mousse’.
It’s also important to remember to make sure your little one doesn’t rinse their mouth out with water after brushing, or have any more sweets. Instead, leave the toothpaste residue to eliminate the remaining plaque.
5. Invest in their teeth
A manual toothbrush used correctly should be effective in removing plaque and fighting against tooth decay. However, a Philips Sonicare for Kids brush will help fight decay while your kids are still perfecting their technique. The brush has inbuilt fun noises to keep kids interested for the entire two minutes and comes with stickers to make brushing more fun.
6. Book a dentist appointment
Use Halloween as an excuse to take the kids to the dentist following the sweets and lollies. A thorough check up and clean will set your kids on the path of dental success.
Halloween is a lot of fun that becomes more popular every year. It’s a day filled with traditions but those traditions don’t need to mean a load of sugar or bad news for your children’s teeth. Think ahead and you’ll be sure of a scarey teeth free Halloween!
Share your sugar free and teeth-friendly Halloween tips and ideas in the comments below.