Halloween is right around the corner, and you know what that means: cute kids in costumes, running from house to house, and when they get to the door, they yell “Trick or Treat!”
Then, they get candy – LOTS of sugar-filled candy that will encourage the growth of bacteria and, therefore, cavities.
You see, cavities don’t just appear. For cavities to form, a series of events need to happen.
Your child’s mouth already has bacteria in it — this is absolutely normal. But when your child eats sugar, the bacteria feast on those sugars/carbohydrates. This causes more bacteria to form, and all that bacteria excretes an acid that wears down your child’s teeth, starting with the enamel then eventually the tooth itself. This is when a cavity forms.
The problem with a cavity is that once it forms, it continues to eat away at the tooth until there’s nothing left. That’s when people need to visit the dentist to get a filling.
So, assuming you aren’t going to lock your child indoors this upcoming ghoulish night, how do you keep your child’s teeth from becoming cavity filled this Halloween?
The answer is simple – maintain your child’s oral health.
First, you need to brush your child’s teeth at least twice a day. And, if possible, brush after they’ve eaten some candy. Brushing helps to wipe away the food particles that bacteria thrive on. Also, it helps to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from the teeth.
Second, floss your child’s teeth at least once a day. This helps to remove the food particles that get trapped between the teeth. Also, it helps to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar from between the teeth. (Do you see a theme here?)
Third, give your child water instead of sugar-filled drinks like juice and soda. If it’s tap-water, it’s probably fluoridated!
Lastly, if your child is old enough, have them use a fluoridated mouth rinse. It will help to kill extra bacteria in their mouth, and the fluoride will help to repair the enamel on their teeth.
So, let your kid go out and have fun this Halloween! There’s nothing wrong with going out and enjoying candy occasionally. But remember: these tips will only work as long as your child has a healthy diet.
For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations in Northlake, Davis Lake and Concord Mills, go to my website at ModernFamilyDentalCare.com, or watch my Dental Minute video on how to get your kids to brush their teeth:
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