Halloween night brings lanterns, costumes, trick-or-treating and lots of candy! There’s no way to prevent your children from eating sweets at this time of year. So learning a few tips to keeping your children’s teeth safe can go a long way.

Here are some great toothy tips that really work.

Firstly, go through your children’s loot and make sure everything looks safe. When they are not looking, you may want to hide some of the harder candies that they can suck on for hours. If the candy is in their mouths for longer than a couple of minutes, it’s got the potential to do more damage.

When choosing the time of day to give them a sugary sweet, choose after a meal. The saliva is higher at this time, and this will help wash the sugary sweets away quicker.

Give your child one time of the day where they can have a few sweets. This is much safer for the teeth, than having one candy several times in the day. When cavity risk is concerned, it’s the frequency the mouth is exposed to sugars and carbohydrates that matter. Not the amount consumed. Sugars make the mouth acidic, giving the bacteria opportunity to create cavities. It takes time for the mouth to return to a neutral pH. Dropping the pH too many times in the day will simply give the bacteria ample time to create damage.

Offer water after sweets, versus juice. Water will help clean away the sugars, just as saliva can. Teach your kids that water is healthy and will help keep their teeth clean.

Avoid sticky sweets, like toffees and caramels, as they get stuck between the teeth for too long. This allows the mouth to stay acidic for much longer. Hide these candies, and allow your child to have chocolates that easily melt in their mouths instead.

Brushing and flossing regularly and thoroughly at this time of the year is key! It’s important to get their teeth clean, especially before bedtime. Saliva production decreases during sleep, making teeth more vulnerable. This is why we want teeth and mouths to be super clean right before bed. Your child can have water to drink after the evening oral care.

Lastly, keep up with your regular dental check-ups and cleanings for the whole family. Our goal is to have no cavities, and to have fun, educational cleanings. Regular check-ups also allows the dentist to catch any dental problems early, before they have an opportunity to spread to neighbouring teeth.

I hope you and your families stay tooth healthy this Halloween, even while enjoying some sweet treats. Thank you for reading.

Dr Melissa Skinner
Third Street Dental
106 3rd Street West
North Vancouver, BC
V7M 1E8

Tel: (604) 988-8168
Fax: (604) 983-8168

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