Keep the Treats from Playing Tricks on Your Child’s Teeth

 pediatric dentist Fort WorthIt’s fun for children to dress up in costumes to go trick-or-treating for Halloween, but parents should be on guard to make sure that the holiday’s festivities don’t play tricks on their children’s oral health. It’s never too early to start preparing your strategies to limit Halloween overindulgences.

Parents can consult with a pediatric dentist to develop a good game plan that allows a child to enjoy Halloween without overdoing it.

  • Encourage your child to choose the healthier snacks in the bag – Many people hand out treats that aren’t so sugary, like pretzels, popcorn or trail mix. Suggest that your child select these treats first. Even dark chocolate has some health-boosting properties.
  • Reinforce good oral hygiene habits – Make sure your child is brushing and flossing properly, and, if possible, have him or her brush after eating treats–or at least rinse out the mouth afterward. This is particularly important if your child enjoys candies that have sticky substances, like caramel, that can leave residue on the teeth for some time, giving oral bacteria an easy nutrition source.
  • Get rid of any excess candy – if the candy is no longer in your home, it can’t tempt your child. Many hospitals will collect candy, or you could donate it to military members stationed overseas.

Your pediatric dentist may also have suggestions that are specific to your child’s case. For example, if your child wears braces, the dentist can give you a list of off-limits snacks that may show up in Halloween bags.

You may want to consider these tips as you are choosing what types of treats to hand out at your house, too. If you choose to give away snacks that have less of an impact on a child’s oral health, like pretzels, fresh fruit or bottled water, you’ll be giving your neighbors’ children a better choice, too.

Before your little one hits the neighborhood streets to collect candy, be sure to check in with our team at Fort Worth Children’s Dentistry to see if you’re doing everything right to reduce the risk of post-Halloween cavities.

Steps to Prevent Dental Injuries

 childrens emergency dentistMany children tend to be injury-prone, and that certainly holds true when it comes to their dental health, too.

Common problems addressed in pediatric dentistry include injuries due to trauma such as falls, which can knock a tooth loose or cause a broken facial bone.

An increasing number of children also participate in contact sports, which increases their risk of dental injuries, as well.

Parents and their children can take precautions against dental injuries. In fact, you can consult with a children’s emergency dentist to develop a to-do list for dental injury prevention. Some of these steps are quite simple.

Although your child may resist, picking up toys is a great preventive measure against facial trauma. Anything that can reduce the risk of falls, will also reduce the risk of tooth loss or a broken jaw bone that can result from a fall.

Wearing a mouthguard can reduce the likelihood of dental damage from a sports injury. A quality mouthguard will limit the forces that are transferred to the teeth and facial bones, and a custom-designed device is quite comfortable and will not interfere with your child’s athletic performance.

In addition to knowing what steps to take to reduce your child’s chances of a dental injury, it’s important to have the phone number for a good children’s emergency dentist handy anyway just in case a tooth should be knocked loose. Many pediatric dental practices even have dentists who are on call on weekends and evenings to address critical injuries that arise outside of business hours.

Before you get to the dentist to have your child assessed, you can do some triage at home in case of a dislodged tooth. If it’s a primary tooth, there’s no need to attempt to re-insert it, although you still want to get an evaluation by a pediatric dentist to determine if a prematurely lost baby tooth has the potential to cause any other problems down the line.

For a permanent tooth, you can try to gently insert it back into its position. If that doesn’t work, store it in a cup of milk and get to the dentist as soon as possible.

Talk to our dentist about steps that you can take to prevent dental injuries and know how to react when an emergency does occur. Ultimately, this knowledge can help to protect your child’s oral health.

Call 817-569-6633 to schedule an appointment today.