Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. The day of love, teddy bears, and far more candy than any parent wants to think about. From heart-shaped boxes of chocolates to candy hearts, Valentine’s candy is the gift children receive for this special day more often than other gifts.
Children enjoy the taste of sugar candy and parents want their children to enjoy the holiday like the other children. However, too much sugar affects your child’s teeth and can cause cavities, decay, bad breath, and a host of oral health concerns. Many parents struggle to find a middle ground and the day can turn into a horror story.
That should not happen in your family. The following tips give parents control over Valentine’s Day candy without taking away from their children on this special day.
1. Plan Ahead
Parents know that candy is a big part of Valentine’s Day. As such, they can ask kids to show them all their candy before eating anything. Kids may hate the thought of waiting to eat their candy, but it is better this way. This gives parents control over the type of candy and the amount of candy their kids eat. Hard, sticky candy is especially bad for children’s teeth.
2. Care for Teeth After Candy
Parents often send their children to the bathroom to brush their teeth after eating candy. They do not realize that brushing a kid’s teeth after eating candy is counterproductive. The sticky from the candy combined with the force of a toothbrush can actually strip away the protective tooth enamel. Instead, children should immediately drink water after eating candy. Follow-up with tooth brushing for two-minutes.
3. Healthy Valentine’s Day Alternatives
Replace traditional Valentine’s Day candy with alternative treats. Healthier alternatives allow children to enjoy the day with fewer risks of cavities and oral health concerns. A few ideas for the usual sweet treats:
- Heart-shaped granola bars
- Flower-shaped fresh fruit
- Chocolate-dipped strawberries
- Whole wheat heart-shaped pancakes
If you plan to send treats to school for a themed party for your child’s classroom, you can prepare healthier alternatives to chocolate candy as well. Purchase Valentine’s day packaging to make the treats even more fun for the children.
Valentine’s Day is special for children. It’s okay for children to have some sugar and enjoy the day as normal with their friends and family. But, monitoring the type of candy and amount of candy they consume is necessary to protect their oral health.
Be sure to schedule two dental appointments each year for your children. The ADA recommends two visits to prevent oral health problems before they start. Each visit includes a tooth cleaning service.