Tips to Prevent Cavities in Kids at Easter
On April 1, children all over the country will wake early to search for their basket of goodies: small toys and colorful eggs containing candy, along with a variety of larger sweets of chocolate bunnies and candy bars, all packaged in a basket made of wicker or plastic. It is estimated that 88% of Americans prepare Easter baskets for their children (delivered of course by the Easter Bunny). But all this candy can lead to many dental problems, including cavities and chipped teeth, and an unwanted trip to the pediatric dentist.
Easter and its Candy
Easter is a Christian holiday that some believe is a modification of the pagan day of Ostara, which served as a celebration of spring and renewal. In the Christian tradition, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and follows a period of fasting known as Lent. The tradition of candy on Easter most likely developed in Germany in the 1800s. Parents made sweets and pastries and slipped them into children’s bonnets the night before Easter. Of course, candy didn’t become an American tradition of the holiday until a hundred years later, when the industrial revolution allowed mass production of sweets. Jelly beans became the staple candy in the 1930s, since they resembled eggs.
Tips to Preventing Easter Cavities
Easter might be one of the country’s favorite holidays, but your local pediatric dentist is likely to remind parents that the candy and treats can wreak havoc on your children’s teeth. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to minimize the impact of the sugary attacks.
1. Limit chocolates and chewy treats to meal times. The more time that sugars stay on the teeth, the more time it has to eat at the enamel. Crunchy foods like vegetables and apples stimulate saliva, which will help to wash the sugar away.
2. Have your child drink water after eating candies, as the water washes sugar away before it can lead to bacteria and enamel damage.
3. Maintain regular brushing and flossing, at least twice per day, and keep up with twice-yearly dental cleanings.
4. Start a new Easter tradition. Substitute candies and chocolates with another type of treat, perhaps movie tickets or a video game. If your child won’t do without candy, try sugar-free varieties when possible.
There is no way to completely eliminate the possibility that your child might develop a cavity at some point in his childhood, but you can take steps to keep Easter from being Spring’s dreaded holiday. Give Growing Smile Pediatric Dentistry and Braces a call and schedule your children’s teeth cleaning today. Keep your children happy and smiling through the impending Easter holiday and beyond.