I have such fond memories of Halloween. Every year, my sister and I would work on our homemade costumes (which are the best kind!) and psych ourselves up for the big night. But who am I kidding… I don’t think any kid needs any help getting psyched for trick-or-treating. Because candy. All the candy, sitting in our pillowcases or plastic jack o’ lantern buckets for weeks.
Whether your family does Halloween parties, trick-or-treating, or fall festivals you will definitely encounter crazy amounts of candy. In this post, the third in our Ask Dr. Bob series, we will be talking about strategies for cavity prevention, the best and worst candy for kids’ teeth, and a creative game plan for getting the rest of that candy out of your house.
Sugar & Cavity Prevention
First, let’s take a look at how cavities get started in the first place. Cavities–or caries–are decayed spots on the teeth that appear as little holes. Sugars and starches leave a film on the teeth and plaque results when bacteria begins feeding on those substances. Plaque, which contains acids, begins to weaken tooth enamel and erodes it over time until tiny openings have formed. So the biggest ways to prevent cavities in the first place are establishing healthy eating habits and practicing good oral hygiene. Teach kids to choose healthy snacks that will grow their bodies and are healthier for their teeth such as vegetables, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese. Then get all of that sugary, starchy film off their teeth (and yours!) by brushing well at least twice a day. Flossing is also necessary for getting food particles out from between teeth and below the gumline.
Candy: What’s Better, What’s Worse
All that being said, kids are kids! Trick-or-treating is fun and a great way to make family memories. Enjoy some candy in moderation and then have a game plan in place. Just like you might look through your kids’ candy to make sure there isn’t anything open, dangerous, or just plain weird, look through it and sort out some of the candy that is worse for little teeth. I didn’t know this, but plain chocolate that clears out of the mouth quickly is best because it doesn’t have prolonged contact with the teeth! But on the flip side, sticky candies like Skittles, Sour Patch Kids, or any type of hard candies that last longer in the mouth are the worst for causing cavities.
Sorting through the candy with your kids can be a great opportunity to talk about cavity prevention and decide together what stays and what goes. But either way, Dr. Bob recommends that they drink plenty of water to rinse out as much of the sugar as possible.
Candy Buy Back Programs
Some dentist offices, businesses, and organizations host Halloween candy buy back programs. Many of these programs benefit charitable organizations or support our military by incentivizing Halloween candy donations. Kids can receive cash, coupons, or dental hygiene products in exchange for their candy, which is a win-win situation for the whole family. Right, Mom?!
Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist is hosting a candy buy back event at their office on SW 62nd Avenue in South Miami from November 4th-6th! Stop by with the kids anytime between 8am and 5pm with your unopened candy and exchange it for $1 per pound (up to 5 pounds). Your kids will be excited to make a little money and you may just find them begging to go back when it comes time for their next dental appointment.
The Pediatric Dentist You’re Looking For
Dr. Bob and his team desire to provide your family with the exceptional care your child deserves. Whether you’re a parent of bigs or littles, you’ll be impressed by the level of specialized care your child(ren) will receive a fun, peaceful environment. Your search is over. Give Dr. Bob a call today and let him know you heard about him here on Miami Moms Blog!