It’s that time of year again, a time to dress up and have fun with the kids. Halloween is a great opportunity to enjoy their favourite stories and sugary snacks, but it can be a frightening time for parents who worry about their children’s dental health. According to a recent oral health survey from 2020, 10.7% of 3 year olds already had experience of dental decay – now that’s scary!
Dental problems at an early age can affect oral health throughout life, so it is essential that your child has good dental habits. Here are some great dental health tips for Halloween from our team at Ten Dental to help you protect your child’s teeth this spooky season:
Limit sugary foods and beverages
Be sure not to allow young children too many sweets. Eat them in moderation either straight after a main meal, or during lunch which is usually the best time as saliva helps to wash excess food particles and sugar – reducing the risk of cavities and tooth decay. For tooth friendly snacks, why not try serving diced up vegetables, cheese sticks, granola bars and raisins as an alternative.
Offer water instead of fizzy pop, and choose 100% juice whenever possible rather than fruit drinks with added sugar. Plus, remember that hard, sour or sticky food like lollipops, tangfastics and jawbreakers can damage your child’s teeth, so make sure to watch them when they eat.
Brush and floss regularly
Dental hygiene is very important, even when your child is wearing a costume! Carry around some floss, toothpaste and a toothbrush so they can brush their teeth after each time they eat candy. If you have an electric toothbrush at home, encourage them to use it the night before or morning of Halloween so it will be in their mouth longer while trick-or-treating.
Halloween isn’t just about the creepy costumes or how many sweets, chocolates, and savoury snacks you can collect from your neighbours, it’s also a chance to take part in some fun activities. For example, pumpkin carving and decorating them with items such as stickers, crayons and even toothbrushes to make it an educational activity on oral health. Swapping scary stories, creating paper craft decorations and classic apple bobbing are other ways to keep the little ones occupied this Halloween.
Set an example
Finally, don’t forget to brush your own chompers! This ensures that you are setting a good example for your child by teaching them the correct brushing and flossing technique so that they learn the importance of a healthy smile. After all, it is much easier to teach young kids dental habits when they see you doing them too.
Time for a check-up?
Don’t be tricked, take note of these dental health tips for Halloween so that you can keep your little one’s fangs in tip top condition. For specialist children’s dentistry treatments in London, get in touch with the pediatric dentists at Ten Dental at one of our clinics in Clapham, Balham and Wandsworth for all aspects of oral health for children and young adults.