Easter is the unofficial start to spring, welcoming in a wave of not just warmth, but sweets and treats in your child’s basket, too. But all that candy can’t be a good thing for your kiddo’s pearly whites, which is why you’ll need to know how to keep your kid’s teeth cavity-free. So hop to it, because the last thing you want is to a trip to the dentist for drillings and fillings.
Brush And Floss Teeth Twice Daily
Ideally, your child should be brushing and flossing their teeth twice daily. And with the added consumption of candy, now’s not the time to send your kiddo to sleep with unbrushed teeth. “To keep teeth healthy during this time of year, as always, kids should be brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing regularly (floss sticks are fine) if their teeth are close together and/or touching,” Dr. Erin Issac, a board-certified pediatric dentist tells Celebrity Parents. “Besides that, kids who are able to spit can use a fluoride-based mouth rinse to give their teeth extra protection.”
Avoid Sticky Candy
It’s no laughing matter when a chunk of Laffy Taffy gets stuck on your child’s tooth — and stays there for hours. You should go through your child’s Easter basket to ensure that the candy they’re eating won’t do a lot of damage to their teeth. “All candy has the potential to lead to cavities but avoiding or limiting the sticky candies and instead going for the ones that melt in your mouth are a better option,” explains Dr. Issac. “Sticky candies get stuck in the grooves of teeth and in between teeth, leaving that sugar to sit there until brushing and flossing again.” Candies that melt in the mouth (or that can be easily cleaned out of the nooks and crannies in your kid’s teeth) is a better choice, since it can potentially cause less damage to the tooth.
Drink Lots Of Water
Sometimes eating candy can make your child work up their thirst. Instead of reaching for (ack) more sugar in the form of juices or other sweetened drinks, a good ol’ glass of H2O is a healthier choice. “If kids are eating candy, be sure to have them balance it out with water,” advises Dr. Issac. “Water also helps to flush the candy out from those grooves and tight spaces.” When your child is done with their Milky Way, make sure that they drink water to wash it all down.
Don’t Let Your Child Eat Candy Throughout The Day
A mini sized Snickers bar might be a yummy after dinner delight, but if you see your kiddo reaching for a Twix an hour later, you might need to shut the sweetness down. “Some ways that kids can enjoy candy, but protect their teeth during this holiday, is to try eating all the candy in one sitting, because this will reduce acidity to their teeth,” Dr. Kami Hoss, a pediatric dentist in San Diego and author of If Your Mouth Could Talk. “If you draw the candy eating out over hours and hours, it will lead to more acidity in the mouth which will cause cavities and tooth damage.” So schedule a time in which your kiddos can eat a bunch of candy — and then brace yourself for the insane sugar high that’s bound to ensue afterwards.
Toss Old Candy
If you thought that candy doesn’t come with an expiration date, think again. There are some candies that you don’t want to consume after a certain time because they’ll get harder, which is not good for your child’s teeth. “I recommend keeping candy around for no longer than a week,” says Dr. Issac. “Biting down into a Jolly Rancher that’s been laying around for months on end is never good for the teeth!” You can dole out what you think is a fair amount of candy for your child, and then either toss the rest, or swap it out for a toy instead.
Easter is a fun, food-filled holiday that should be celebrated. And while some extra candy is okay, making sure that your child doesn’t eat too much can help reduce their risk for cavities, broken teeth, or even fractured fillings. Because the result of too much candy from Easter shouldn’t be a root canal down the road.