HomeBlogDentalTreats and tricks – keeping your children’s teeth clean at Halloween

Treats and tricks – keeping your children’s teeth clean at Halloween

Halloween is nearly here again, giving youngsters an easy excuse to indulge in sweets. You may be asking how is it possible for them to enjoy the multitude of sweets without having to worry about their teeth?

We know the coming together of sugar and plaque in the mouth is the cause of cavities.


Here are a few tricks for parents to help little ones enjoy the season while avoiding tooth decay.


#1: Encourage your children to brush their teeth for 2-3 minutes before going out for Halloween treats and allow the sweets be the reward they deserve. It is less important for them to have sweets after teeth cleaning as long as they brush effectively to prevent new growth of biofilm on the teeth and gum-lines. And children love rewards! You can make it more fun by using a timer on your phone. When they are finished brushing they can safely enjoy some nice sweets with pleasure. Just imagine how much more effectively your children can brush while waiting for their Halloween treat. It might be their best teeth cleaning ever!


#2Use a disclosing tablet before brushing. Disclosing tablets are chewable tablets that make dental plaque visible and assist by showing areas of the mouth that have been missed while brushing. They contain a safe vegetable dye that adheres to any plaque left in the mouth, staining it a bright colour. As an added Halloween treat, the tablets temporarily stain the lips a bright, almost spooky, colour. You can easily buy the tablets online or I am happy to provide you with a packet on your next hygienist visit.


#3: Take your seven-year-old on a trip to the dental hygienist. Children have usually developed their manual dexterity enough by the time they are seven to brush their own teeth effectively. This is the perfect age for their first dental hygienist visit so they can feel comfortable having their teeth examined and to learn the best brushing techniques. I always make these appointments fun and motivating so that children can enjoy brushing twice a day without the supervision of their parents. By learning at an early age, the importance of clean teeth, your children will go on to have better oral hygiene throughout their lives. Most children will only need a few follow up hygienist sessions and do not normally need regular visits as long as they are brushing well.


#4: Always have drinking water handy if your children are eating sweets. A sip or two of water after eating sugary food is an effective way of cleansing sugar from the mouth. It is even better to swish the water around the mouth for a few seconds before swallowing.

I often suggest to my patients who struggle with tooth discolouration to have a glass of water handy when they are having coffee, tea or red wine. It is best to sip the water directly after eating or drinking to better cleanse away the staining molecules. If your children are going to Halloween parties you can provide them with a small water bottle and encourage them to keep sipping.


#5: Avoid long lasting, sticky or chewy sweets. Any sweets that take a long time to dissolve in the mouth, such as toffees or lollipops, will allow the teeth to become coated in more sugar and cause tooth decay. Instead encourage your children to eat quicker dissolving sweets.


#6: Eat it all at once. Remember granny’s advice, “Don’t eat it all at once”? When it comes to sweets, granny had it wrong, instead it is much better to expose teeth less frequently to the damaging food without concern about the quantity. Every time a sugary snack is consumed the chemical acidity versus alkalinity level, known as the pH level, in the mouth’s saliva is lowered, becoming more acidic. This pH level remains lower for up to 20 minutes after each exposure, causing greater risk of tooth decay.


#7: An occasional piece of xylitol-based chewing gum can help cleans the mouth. If you are concerned that your child’s brushing may not be as good as it could be and a lot of sweets have been consumed then encouraging them to chew a piece of sugar-free and aspartame-free gum can help cleanse the teeth and neutralise the acid produced by the bacteria and sugar. While I don’t normally promote gum chewing as it can adversely affect digestion, on a very occasional basis it can be effective for preventing tooth decay.


Most important of all, enjoy Halloween! I hope these tricks help you and your whole family have a happier and healthier trick or treat season.


Looking forward to seeing you at your next appointment.

Maryam Abrishami RDH




Save 10%

with your first order

By subscribing to our newsletter you agree to our Privacy Policy