OTTAWA, ONTARIO – When you think of Halloween, you probably think of costumes and cold weather, pumpkins and spider webs. You might be planning a costume party or gathering candy to hand out to neighborhood trick-or-treaters. Your dentist in Ottawa is thinking of your teeth.

Drs. David Bartos and Mark Northcott want you to have a fun-filled Halloween without doing damage to your pearly whites. Our Kanata dentistry practice has brainstormed ways to keep your teeth healthy and clean this Halloween.

Evaluate Your Candy
What candy have you chosen to give out on Halloween? Just how sugary are those bite-sized treats? You probably don’t want to be the lady giving out apples or dental floss, but can you choose a candy that isn’t all sugar? (We realize this might be difficult, but look at labels; take your time.)

Let Them Eat
Halloween is a magical time for children, and it’s fun for adults, too. It might not be a good idea to restrict your child from enjoying the candy she’s procured. Forbidden foods looks even more glamorous because you can’t have them. Instead, let your child pick a reasonable amount of candy – her favorites – that she can have. You could donate the rest or even freeze it for later. Thawed Halloween candy will be just as tasty in a few months.

Clean Their Teeth
This holiday is a good time to talk with your child about good oral care. Remind your child to floss and brush daily, and make sure she follows through. For times when she can’t brush – at a party or running errands – chase those bite-sized treats with a piece of sugar free gum. Chewing gum helps your saliva flow, which breaks down sugars in your mouth.

Keep Candy In a Safe Spot
Put the candy in a neutral zone after your child has sufficiently gorged herself and her teeth are clean. Don’t let your child keep her candy by her bed or in her room. This is a great temptation. She might want to snack before bed and drench sugar on those already-clean teeth. Teach your child that self-control is important. There’s no more snacking after her teeth are clean for the night.

We want you to make memories and have fun this Halloween while keeping your oral care in mind. Our practice offers general, cosmetic and neuromuscular dentistry to patients in greater Ottawa. We brighten your smiles with in-house teeth whitening, and we offer IV sedation dentistry to our patients who are anxious about dental procedures. Happy Halloween to you and yours!