Easter is a fun time for kids, but not for their teeth. As a parent, you can protect your child’s teeth by following these easy tips and by instituting a few basic Easter-candy rules. Limiting the type of candy your child eats, giving toys instead of chocolate, and giving your child candies that are not as bad for the teeth can all help your child avoid cavities and keep their teeth healthy.
Limit Sticky Candies
Sticky candies like caramel and taffy are bad for your child’s teeth because they’re sugary and they stick to enamel easily. Limiting the type of sugary candies that you give to your child can prevent cavities and tooth decay. If you do give your child sticky caramel, toffee, gummy bears, or taffy, make your child spend extra time brushing and flossing afterward to ensure that all the candy bits have been washed away.
Give Stuffed Rabbits Instead of Chocolate Rabbits
Chocolate rabbits certainly are tasty, but they’re also not good for your child’s teeth. To avoid problems, give your child stuffed toy rabbits instead of chocolate rabbits. If your child insists on having a chocolate rabbit in their Easter basket, give your child a dark chocolate rabbit made of around 70 percent cocoa. Dark chocolate contains antioxidants that are good for the teeth. The higher cocoa content, the better.
While you’re replacing the chocolate bunny with a stuffed bunny, you can also consider replacing other little candies with games, books, and small trinkets. Have an Easter egg hunt with plastic eggs and put a coin, necklace, ring, or toy car in each plastic egg. Your child will love getting a variety of special objects in their basket, and best of all, your child won’t have a lot of extra candy in the days following Easter.
Give Away Coupons for Favors and Fun
Older children often enjoy getting homemade coupons for small favors and fun. For example, give your child a coupon that promises a chore-free weekend or a special trip to the movies. Give away as many coupons as you can think of, rolled up in Easter eggs or stashed in their Easter basket.
Let Your Child Eat All Their Candy at Once
Allowing your child to eat his or her candy over a series of many days and nights drags out your child’s exposure to sugar and can increase the chances of your child getting a cavity.
To prevent this from happening, you can have your child eat their candy all at once. Give your child a small enough portion of candy that they can eat it in one night without getting a stomach ache.
Have Your Child Wait an Hour Before Brushing Their Teeth
Bacteria in the mouth break down sugar into acid. Rubbing that acid into the enamel with a toothbrush is bad for your child’s teeth. To prevent this from happening, make your child wait an hour before asking him or her to go brush teeth. While waiting, have your child swish with water to neutralize the acid.
Put Sugar-Free Gum in the Basket
Sugar-free gum is very tasty. Chewing sugar-free gum can even help clean the teeth almost as effectively as brushing. Give your child sugar-free gum that’s been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Gum approved by the ADA will have a special seal on the package from the association.
Give Your Child Crunchy Apples and Almonds
Crunchy apples help clean the teeth by stimulating the production of saliva when your child starts to eat them. This can help rid the teeth of bacteria and can leave the enamel feeling smooth and clean. In addition to apples, almonds are good for the teeth and gums because the nuts are a good source of calcium. Mix these tasty treats in with the rest of your child’s Easter basket to ensure that your child gets some tooth-friendly food over the holiday.
Make an Appointment With Your Dentist
Make an appointment for your child to see the dentist either just before or after Easter. Taking your child to see the dentist before Easter ensures that your child’s teeth will be polished and smooth when your child eats candy. This prevents candy from sticking your child’s teeth.
Alternatively, taking your child to see the dentist after Easter can help rid the mouth of any extra sticky candies that might be trapped in the tight spaces between the teeth. If you take your child to see the dentist after Easter, do it after the candy has all been eaten or thrown away.
Your dental expert can help keep your child’s teeth healthy. To find out more about how your child can keep their teeth clean, contact a dentist for ideas. At Apollo Dental Center, we’re always happy to answer parent questions and help them keep their child’s teeth healthy. To find out more, contact us today.