We hope you all are as excited about Halloween as we are!  As a Dentist and a Mother, it is a challenging holiday for me.  While I love to dress up and participate every year, it doesn’t change the fact that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease.

Our goal is PREVENTION. While this may be a daily battle on the front end, it’s even harder to be a patient in the chair, especially for young children who often times need sedation for treatment.  No parent ever wants to hear his or her child has cavities or needs dental treatment.

So what to do when you get home after a night of Trick or Treating?

  1. SORT through the good and the bad.
  2. What’s BAD?  Anything sticky, chewy, crunchy or hard.  Examples are sugar daddys, tootsie rolls, laffy taffy, lollipops, caramels, nuts, popcorn, dots, sour patch kids, skittles, gobstoppers, fireballs. Why are these bad?  They stick to the pits and grooves of the teeth, so hard to clean off! They can pull out dental work (fillings, crowns, brackets from braces.) They can crack teeth, believe me, I have seen it!  The frequency, or time sugar stays on the teeth is increased.  This allows the bacteria more time to produce the acids that eat away at healthy tooth structure.
  3. What’s OKAY?  Chocolate, Dark chocolate.  Why? softer and easier to clean
  4. What’s BETTER? Xylitol containing sweets: lollipops, mints, sugar free gum.  Why is this better? XYLITOL is a sugar that actually helps prevent tooth decay and dry mouth. Where can you purchase? AMAZON see link here: https://www.amazon.com/Xyloburst-Lollipop-Sugar-Xylitol-Flavors/dp/B00K97PQA8/ref=sr_1_2_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1477314542&sr=8-2&keywords=xylitol+lollipops
  5. What’s BEST OF ALL?  DONATING your candy to our TREATS FOR TROOPS (we also send them toothbrushes and toothpaste, of course!)  What’s better than SAYING THANK YOU to those WHO SERVE.  What else is in it for you?  We are paying $1/lb of candy!  All we ask is for a thank you note (we have the supplies to write them at our practice) and your child will leave with a toothbrush, toothpaste and cash!
  6. TIPS for best cleaning your teeth after eating candy!  DRINK WATER to neutralize the acid in the mouth, Brush for 2 minutes, use a timer like the one found here! https://www.amazon.com/Smile-Tooth-Minute-Assorted-colors/dp/B009CCIH48/ref=pd_sim_121_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=ZPDEY7A0YNTFTXZW6QWX&th=1!  Floss! Floss picks make it easier for adults to help their little ones.  Use a Fluoride rinse–if old enough to spit, ACT is great!  CHECK YOURSELF, get some DISCLOSING TABLETS (also can purchase on AMAZON at https://www.amazon.com/Plak-Smacker-Plaque-Disclosing-Tablets/dp/B00BJ4UMDQ/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1477314215&sr=8-1&keywords=disclosing+tablets).  This is a tablet that can be chewed up and rinsed out.  It then dyes all the harmful plaque that’s left behind leaving an awesome visual for you and your children to see what’s left to brush!  This could be a fun family activity!  I challenge you to do this with your kids and make it a fun learning experience!  MAKE IT FUN!  Sing a Song –(To the tune of “Row, Row, Row your Boat”)  Brush, brush, brush your teeth, brush your teeth, gently round your gums, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, Merrily, brushing is such fun!  Brush, brush, brush your teeth, brush them everyday, the front, the sides, the back the top, to keep decay away!   Floss, floss, floss your teeth, floss without delay, you can do this everyday, to keep decay away!   Rinse, rinse, rinse your teeth, swishing germs away, then you’ll have a pretty smile, with healthy teeth each day!

We hope these tips help over this Halloween season and we invite all of you to bring your candy by our office, James River Family Dentistry 2805 McRae Road Richmond VA, 23235 from Nov 1-Nov 8 from 8-5.  Nov 4 we will be collecting from 9-1.

Questions? Please call us! 804-323-4200, we are here for you!

We look forward to seeing you all and wish everyone a Happy Halloween!