While the Easter bunny hops away down the bunny trail, you’re left with the aftermath of marshmallows covered in sugar, giant rabbit-shaped chocolates, and hundreds of jelly beans. You may be wondering how you can let your children enjoy this Easter tradition without creating an oral health disaster. Chicago dentist Dr. Fondriest has tips for how to help your children enjoy Easter candy and prevent cavities.
Dark Chocolate Bunnies are Healthier than Milk Chocolate
Excessive amounts of sugary chocolate is never good for your teeth; however, you can choose chocolate that is better for your oral health than others. Dark chocolate contains an ingredient found in cocoa that could help keep your smile healthy by dispersing colonies of bacteria. Tannins are natural substances that break up bacteria deposits between the teeth and gums. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants found in flavanoids and phenols which are not only heart healthy, but may also protect your body from cancer.
Keep Your Mouth Hydrated to Curb Acid Erosion
Your child’s Easter basket is full of sweet treats that can create cavities. Sugar attacks your oral health by attracting bacteria and developing acid when it combines with saliva. The acid erodes the enamel layer on your tooth. Weak tooth enamel makes your smile to bacteria and decay as well as sensitivity to hot and cold foods. Have your children drink plenty of water between pieces of Easter candy to rinse their mouths of acid and bacteria buildup. Since bacteria thrives in a dry mouth, keeping your mouth hydrated will help protect your teeth and gums.
Use Fluoridated Toothpaste to Strengthen Enamel
All of the acid erosion and bacterial attacks on your child’s smile can create cavities. While some people believe the health of primary teeth is trivial, it is actually vital to the child’s continuing oral health. Even though primary teeth, or baby teeth, will fall out eventually, they are still vulnerable to becoming internally infected and creating toothache and sensitivity. Additionally, primary teeth are the placeholders for adult teeth to erupt later in life. A healthy start for permanent teeth depends on taking care of primary teeth. Helping your child brush regularly is essential to creating healthy oral hygiene habits and preventing cavities. Fluoridated toothpaste can help strengthen the enamel of your child’s tooth and prevent future cavities.