Celebrating a holiday with sweets and treats tends to be a norm. Don’t you think? There’s something about a little sugary treat that gets you in the right mood, no matter your age. Whether it’s Halloween, Easter, Christmas, or Valentine’s Day, there’s always a reason to let our inner child comes out to play – especially when the celebration includes buckets filled with yummy candy.
We can get a little carried away when we’re unwrapping candies faster than our kiddos, though.
At Little Heroes Dental, we encourage you to enjoy your favorite treats with your little ones, while being mindful of maintaining happy and healthy pearly whites.
Make sure that you and your kids play it smart this Valentine’s Day by following these tips to protect your child’s teeth this Valentine’s Day and to avoid a toothache down the road.
Choose Your Candies Wisely
Some candy is worse for your teeth than others. Hard candy, the kind that you can suck on for a while, will leave a film of sugary residue on the teeth. They expose your teeth to acids and sugars for much longer than necessary. This allows bacteria to create the acid that can erode your child’s teeth and result in cavities.
Hard candy can also chip or break your child’s teeth if they try to chew the candy before it has had a chance to shrink and soften.
Exposure to tacky sugars is the downside of gummy candies. While we don’t hold them in our mouth as long as hard candies, gummy candies tend to be stickier. The sugary residue can erode the enamel as well. Again, the prolonged exposure to sugar harms the enamel. Without the protective barrier, your child’s teeth are prone to tooth decay.
No matter hard or gummy, the absolute worst type of candy for your and your child’s teeth are sour candies. They are your worst enemy! Sour candies are made of a dangerous concoction of acidic ingredients, namely, citric, fumaric, and malic acids. These will cause serious erosion to the enamel of the teeth.Watch that candy intake on Valentines. #Sour #candies are the #worst on your #teeth. #RGV #Little #Heroes #Dental Click To Tweet
Opt for Dark Chocolate
While no candy is good for the teeth, especially if consumed often, there’s no way you’ll get away with denying your child some delicious treats on Valentine’s. Unless medically necessary, it’s never a good idea to tell your child they absolutely can’t have some food or treat that you know they love.
Try to avoid the can’t have phrase and, instead, focus the can have phrase. Your little hero can have candy, but make sure it’s the right kind.
Opt for dark chocolate so your child can enjoy the yummy flavor of cocoa as well as a few health benefits. Chocolate can be washed away more easily than hard or gummy candies. Plus, cocoa can actually help harden your child’s tooth enamel.
Time Your Little Hero’s Candy Intake
Believe it or not, there is actually a right time to eat candy. Candy should be had after mealtime as the flow of saliva is higher after eating. (click to tweet) The increased volume of saliva will help wash away the sugar from candies.
Eating sugary candies and foods between meals allows acid levels to remain high. As a result, the bacteria in your child’s mouth have a source to feed from all day long.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
It’s safe to say that if your child is enjoying a sweet treat on Valentine’s Day, then so are you. This is the perfect time to teach your child about good dental hygiene. Show them the importance of brushing and flossing away the sugary residue that can harm their teeth. Even if we do go on a bit of a candy binge, we can still protect our teeth and gums with a good cleaning.
Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry would like to ask, “Will you be our Valentine?”
At Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry, we offer all the dental and orthodontic services your little hero may need. We even cater to big heroes too! Trust in us to keep your smile and your child’s smile happy and healthy. With offices in Laredo, Mission, and San Juan, we are never too far from all our Rio Grande Valley residents. Request an appointment at any of our locations, today!