Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year, but it’s also the time of the year that cause dentists and hygienists around the country to collectively groan. Here are few dental hygiene tips to help you and your kids survive the season….
1. Limit the amount of candy
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying your spoils, but try to limit the amount of candy the kids take in (both in total and daily). In general, we limit our kids to 3 pieces of candy a day in the weeks following Halloween. That’s both to protect their teeth and to keep them from getting to hyper during the day.
However, one of my friends has come up with an ingenious idea to limit the amount of candy. She has her kids give half of their candy to the “candy fairy.” LOL! I’m pretty sure the “candy fairy” is just the adults, but in exchange for donating their candy, they are allowed to buy any new toy under $20. Feel free to steal that idea or come up with your own.
2. Upgrade your toothbrush
If you’re still using a regular, grocery store toothbrush it might be time to upgrade. I recommend the Colgate Proclinical electric toothbrush because it promises to reduce more than 5 times the amount of plaque at the gum line when compared to a manual flat-trim toothbrush.
3. Floss after eating candy
Halloween candy is full of sticky peanuts, caramel, and toffee that can become easily lodged between your teeth. Those crumbs that are left behind can easily turn to plaque and cause cavities. Therefore, it’s best to floss after eating a piece of candy, even if you don’t have time to brush right then.
There are a number of flossing products sold at the drug store like floss picks that can be put in your purse or in the kid’s lunch box.
4. Brush after every meal
It’s old advice, but it’s even more important around Halloween. Focus on dividing your teeth into four quadrants and spend a minimum of 30 seconds brushing each quadrant. A good way to time yourself is these is to use a sonic toothbrush that automatically alerts you when you’ve spent enough time brushing a single zone.
Have a happy Halloween! And remember to take care of your teeth!
Photo by Pedro J. Ferreira