It’s that time of the year when your children are happy to gorge on Halloween candies and you lovingly indulge in a glass of good wine on New Year. Although this sounds absolutely idyllic, most seasonal fares can be damaging for your teeth and gums. So, enjoy your sweets and drinks in moderation and save on tooth decay treatment cost. Here is a list of food items which are either ‘yay’ or ‘nay’!
Yay: Green on your plate
If you want to save big on dental treatment, imbibe the habit of eating lots of greens and leafy veggies throughout the year. Kale or raw spinach may not be food toppers during the Holidays, but they help to wash your teeth. A much-required respite in between candies indeed. How about an occasional indulgence of raw salad with goat cheese, leafy greens, nuts, strawberries, oil and a bit of vinegar?
Nay: Overload of Halloween candies
You just can’t do away with the Halloween staple, but you can definitely limit the portions of candies. Sticky favorites like caramel apples, candy canes or toffee aren’t good for your teeth. So, once your children are done with ‘trick’ or ‘treat’, you can sit with them and sort the candies. Sugar-free gum or milk and dark chocolates are not as harmful as other sugar candies. Allow your child to have candies, but not all at one go!
Yay: Vote for Something Cheesy
Cheese is known to contain a protein called casein which helps in fighting cavities and gum disease. Like many dairy products such as ice cream and yogurt, cheese is also rich in phosphorus and calcium and helps in teeth re-mineralization. So, don’t hesitate to bite into the cheese slices while sipping your favorite Mont-Blanc.
Nay: Choose your Citrus Friends Carefully
Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C which is good for the body. But oranges, grapefruits, limes and lemons are also acidic which cause enamel erosion. So, if you want to save on tooth decay treatment cost, limit your citrus fruit consumption. A drop of lemon juice or a squeeze of lime is fine, but an overdose might be harmful for overall oral hygiene.
Yay: Love the Crunchy Nuts
Nuts are often overlooked during the Holidays but chewing on nuts can be good for your teeth. As they are full of nutrients like phosphorus and calcium, nuts can be easily mixed with candies. Mix the nuts with candies to create a balanced diet. A child who loves to have a late-night candy feast can surely benefit from the nuts in the bowl. In this way, you also limit candy consumption.
Nay: Be in ‘high spirit’, but in moderation
It’s difficult to restrict beverages like coffee which is kind of a staple during the chilly mornings. But excess coffee and tea contain additional sugar which is bad for oral health. Also, alcohol and coffee stain your teeth badly which is not good news for your photo on a Holiday postcard. Do not miss out on your bright smile as you send out your season’s greetings.
Too much consumption of alcohol or coffee leads to dry mouth lacking in saliva. Saliva helps in preventing tooth decay and other oral infections, so it’s absence can be problematic. Keep your mouth hydrated with plain water and use fluoride rinses to keep bacteria away.
Yay: Love your fruits ‘berry’ much
For every season there is a berry and if you love your cranberries during winter, we say carry on! Keeping in mind about the acidic quality of berries, it is best to combine them with yogurt. Have a glass of water after eating your cranberries to reduce the acid coating on teeth.
Nay: Dry fruits are a big no
Most of us assume dry fruits as healthy snacks. And you are right! But too much of apricots, figs, raisins and prunes can be harmful for teeth. They are sticky and often cling in the crevices and corners. If you are tempted by dry fruits, do not forget to rinse, brush and floss after eating them! Remember the fresher variants of these fruits will be less damaging.
Tips to survive the ‘cavity monster’
If thinking about Halloween candy and its effect on your child’s teeth gives you sleepless nights, here are a few things you can do.
- Give your child a healthy meal before trick or treating. This will keep them full and kids will be less tempted to give in to the sugary treat.
- Once they get home, allow your children to have a few delicacies because it is Halloween tradition. Keep the rest stashed away and ask them to have little every day.
- You need not wait for serious dental procedures for your child to start a good dental hygiene routine. Create a simple routine. Each time they consume candies, ensure that they brush and floss their teeth.
Bring your child for a post-Halloween check-up at our DM Dental office. You can give us a call to know whether you can use your dental insurance to save on tooth decay treatment cost.