This post was sponsored by the MetLife TRICARE Dental Program
as part of an Ambassador Program for Influence Central.
Candy is one of the many things that makes Halloween fun, but having too much candy, especially the gooey, sticky varieties you find in Halloween bags, can lead to cavities. There are many things smart moms can do to prevent Halloween cavities in their kids and throughout the year if you have a little forethought and prevention.
Moderation is Key
Halloween is a special day that only comes around once a year, and kids look forward to it for weeks, so limiting candy might not be possible. Just remind them that they can save more candy for later, break up the snacks with salty chips and drinks, and try to limit the amount they get in the weeks leading up to the big day.
Eat Candy with a Meal
Break up the sugary snacks with something nutritious. Dentists in Murray Utah say eating more will help stimulate saliva production, and wash away sticky food particles. It will also help prevent bad bacteria from accumulating in the mouth.
Chew Sugarless Gum
Studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum can reduce bacteria inside of the mouth. Xylitol is an ingredient found in most types of sugarless gum and has been shown to reduce the risk of cavities. When kids are starting to slow down on the sugar, have them chew a stick of gum for a half hour before bed.
Eat Healthy Snacks
There’s no reason kids should be limited to candy on Halloween. Carrots and apples can make great crunchy snacks you provide with the meal or between houses while trick-or-treating. Crunchy foods like these will help wash away sugars by stimulating the release of saliva and prevent bacteria from settling on the teeth. For a fun healthy Halloween meal perfect for filling up before Trick-Or-Treating check out my recipe for Vampire Blood Tomato Soup with Muenster Sammies post here!
Water can also help to wash away candy and prevent it from sticking to the teeth. Bring along a few water bottles during your nightly trick-or-treating, and make sure they have one nearby when snacking on candy.
Brush Those Teeth
Brush your teeth and encourage the kids to brush theirs (with your help if necessary) at least twice a day using a soft toothbrush and toothpaste with fluoride. Regular brushing helps prevent gum disease and tooth loss.
According to Smith Family Dental, flossing is one of the best things you can do to rid your teeth of food particles and bad bacteria. It helps remove anything that might be missed with brushing alone, so make sure you make time to help kids floss after the night is over.
Proper Care of Your Toothbrush
MetLife TRICARE Dental recommends that you and/or your children never share a toothbrush. (Plus, eww!) After brushing, rinse your toothbrush with tap water to get rid of toothpaste and debris, allow it to air-dry and store it in an upright position. It is also important not to routinely cover your toothbrush or store it in closed containers.
Get Biannual Dental Cleanings
While helping your kids to take extra care of their teeth around Halloween is important, the importance of regular dental visits should not be overlooked. MetLife TRICARE Dental and most dentists recommend that everyone have two cleanings and two exams per year.
Maintain Dental Insurance
Having dental insurance is so important. Not only do you and your kids need cleanings and exams every six months, but you never know what might come up and if you’ve ever had to pay for braces, unexpected fillings, or to remove wisdom teeth you already know how much of a dent those expenses can make in your budget. There are many plans available but if you are a military family you should check out MetLife TRICARE Dental. They offer complete dental coverage at low premiums for military families including preventative and diagnostic dental care when you visit a network provider.
As the wife of a 12 year army veteran I know that military families’ budgets are often already stretched too thin – but unexpected dental costs or high dental premiums don’t have to be the case! To learn more about MetLife TRICARE Dental, visit www.tricare.mil/bwe to enroll or www.metlife.com/tricare for additional information, or call 1-855-638-8371 Sunday 6:00 p.m. – Friday 10:00 p.m. (EST) except holidays. You can also connect with them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MetLifeTDP and Twitter: https://twitter.com/metlifetdp.
Your children don’t have to go without their favorite candies this Halloween to avoid cavities. Simply following a few of these tips should help to keep their mouths healthy and to cross off your list for later.