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Avoiding Childhood Tooth Decay this Halloween

Every parent wants to see their child grow up with healthy teeth, but unfortunately childhood tooth decay is still a common problem. What makes it worse is that cavities are preventable. With Halloween fast approaching, it might be a good time to think about employing some different strategies this year to avoid your child getting a huge amount of candy that they may not even particularly enjoy.

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84% of families do something with their kids at halloween*

Keeping Halloween Enjoyable but Just a Little More Tooth Friendly

If you chat with other parents then you will probably find they are every bit as concerned about the amount of chocolate and candy consumed at this time of year. Instead of providing sweet treats for trick-or-treaters, it could be worth visitng dollar stores for small toys, stickers and pens and pencils as an alternative to candy. It is inevitable that your child will come back with some candy, but you could arrange to exchange it for cash, particularly if you know they are saving up for something special.

Another strategy to try is to get them to choose the candies they’d really like to eat and to simply get rid of the rest. If you can, persuade them to choose chocolate over sticky candies as the chocolate will quickly melt and is more easily washed away with saliva, reducing the damage to their teeth. It’s best if they can enjoy their candy as part of a main meal. Their mouth will already have more saliva which will help to wash away the sugar. Try to avoid letting them eat candy as a snack in between meals, as their teeth will be bathed in sugar and acid for longer, increasing the damage to their teeth.

Instead of focusing on sugary treats at Halloween, look out for seasonal recipes that have a savoury flavour and which can be enjoyed as a family. If you find a really good recipe then it could become a new family tradition.

Keeping Your Child’s Teeth Healthy with Great Preventative Dental Care

Tsawwassen Place Dental is a family oriented practice and we love seeing children, and we can work with you to help your child grow up enjoying all the benefits of a healthy smile. Dr. Leslie does assess each child’s risk of tooth decay very carefully and there are some very good preventative dental treatments to help keep young teeth cavity-free. Regular fluoride applications are a safe and effective way to harden tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. Dental or fissure sealants are another non-invasive preventative dental treatment and are used to protect the chewing surfaces of a child’s newly erupted back teeth.

Dental sealants consist of a thin layer of flowable plastic that seals the intricate grooves and fissures in these teeth, creating a smooth easy to clean surface. Dental sealants can only be used on teeth that are cavity free which is why they are best applied soon after the adult back teeth have erupted. Our friendly dental team can also provide lots of advice on dental care at home. When your child is old enough, we can show them how to brush and floss effectively so they grow up with great dental habits that will hopefully last them for life.

* Source: The Original Tooth Fairy Poll

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