The holiday season is quickly approaching, and with it, comes all kinds of delicious candy. You probably know that candy is not the best thing for your child's teeth. Candy usually contains large amounts of sugar, which is the primary cause of cavities. Some types of candy are also very acidic, which leads to worn enamel and damaged teeth. The good news is, you can still let your child eat candy during the holidays, you just have to be smart about it.
Here are three ways to protect your child's teeth from candy.
1. Know What Kind of Candy Your Child Should Avoid
If you are trying to protect your child's teeth from cavities, worn enamel, or damaged teeth, there are certain foods candies child should avoid altogether. Hard candies and lollipops are fun to eat, but they can cause serious damage to the teeth. This is because these kinds of candies stay in the mouth for a prolonged period of time. By staying in the mouth, it allows sugar to build up more easily on the teeth, which can turn into a cavity.
Also, these hard kinds of candy can cause a tooth to crack. Another kind of candy your child should avoid is sour candies, which are very acidic. Examples of sour candies include sweethearts, skittles, and gummy bears.
2. Offer Your Child Certain Foods
If you do let your child eat candy over the holidays, there are certain foods that can help counteract the effects of candy on the teeth. Foods such as cheese, milk, and other dairy products contain calcium, which helps keep the teeth strong and healthy. Foods that contain fluoride also help to prevent cavities from forming.
Foods with fluoride include:
When it comes to eating food, you may want your child to eat their candy after they eat lunch or dinner. After they eat a meal, their mouth contains high amounts of saliva. This saliva can help clear the teeth of sugar-containing particles.
3. Call Your Dentist If You Think Your Child Has a Cavity
If your child has eaten too much candy over the holidays, you should contact your dentist at the first sign of a cavity. Treating a cavity early on will help prevent it from becoming larger. In some cases, untreated cavities can cause infection and tooth loss. Signs your child might have a cavity include pain, sensitivity, and stains on the tooth.
For more tips, reach out to a local dentist.