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Halloween and dental health

Halloween and dental health:
tips for combining treats and healthy teeth

It’s tough for kids to resist all those sweets from trick or treating in the neighbourhood. But there are some simple things parents can do to help their children celebrate Halloween while looking after their teeth.

Sweets and dental health
To keep Halloween cavity-free, you first need to understand how sugar acts on teeth. Whenever children (or adults) eat or drink sugary food or beverages, particles remain on and between their teeth. This puts them at higher risk of cavities.

If the particles aren't removed by brushing and flossing, bacteria in the mouth convert the sugars they contain into acids. These acids attack the tooth enamel and over time a cavity forms.

Practical tips for avoiding cavities
The Ordre des dentistes du Québec recommends that parents limit the negative effects of eating and drinking sweets by following good dental hygiene rules.

  • Avoid soft, sticky candies that tend to get stuck between the teeth, like caramels and jellies.
  • Eat sweets at the end of a meal, when there is more saliva. It will help to neutralize some of the acids that attack the teeth and to wash away the excess sugar.
  • Brush your teeth right after eating sweets, if possible. Otherwise, drink a glass of water, to dilute some of the sugars and acids.
  • Brush your teeth and floss before going to bed.

Start good habits early
Remember that children with healthy teeth eat better and are more likely to be healthy, because oral disease, and cavities in particular, can affect a child's growth, sleep and school performance. What’s more, by adopting good oral hygiene habits at an early age, your youngsters will not only have healthy teeth but also greater self-confidence and self-esteem.

At Halloween, the Ordre des dentistes invites everyone to pay close attention to their oral health, because it plays an essential role in overall health.