Easter is still an exciting holiday for adults who have children, grandkids, or other young relatives who wake up anticipating a basket of goodies on Easter morning and an Easter egg hunt to seek out little treasures. It’s fun to pick out all the treats and watch the kids’ faces light up with joy. If you plan to celebrate Easter this Sunday, what are you putting in their baskets? Here are a few teeth tips that will let your kids enjoy their treats without harming their smiles.
If you’d like more tips or have questions on the ones listed here, feel free to call our Punta Gorda family dentist office at 941-585-0424. Dr. Martin and our team can give you the answers you need for healthier smiles.
Choose Treats That Aren’t Sticky Or Chewy
Sticky, chewy candies are some of the worst treats for teeth. That’s probably not something you want to hear if you love jelly beans or treats like Skittles. The problem with them is just that – they’re sticky, and so they stick to teeth, particularly in between teeth and in the grooves of back teeth. When the sugars get in those crevices, bacteria begins to feed on them. This produces acids that eat away at the teeth and creates cavities in them.
SUGAR > FOOD FOR BACTERIA > ACID > CAVITIES
Take a look at what’s going into that basket. If it’s a lot of sticky candies, consider putting less in there or replacing them with something else. If you still want the traditional jelly beans to make an appearance, just be sure to have your kids brush AND floss well at night, and always in the morning to remove the “debris.”
It’s a great idea to swish water around to physically remove sugars after eating. That’s even more true if the sticky candies are acidic (citrus flavors), as the acid creates a double whammy for cavities.
Don’t Pick Really Hard Candy
Treats like Jolly Ranchers and suckers are popular among kids (and even adults). The problem with these is self-explanatory, too: they’re hard. And hard things have been known to chip, crack, and even break teeth, especially baby teeth that aren’t as strong as adult teeth.
We recommend skipping these altogether. There are many other options kids can enjoy. Why risk it with these? Plus, no one wants a dental emergency on a holiday!
Don’t think it’s not a big deal if kids’ teeth get damaged. Just because they’ll get their permanent teeth later doesn’t mean their baby teeth aren’t important. They help their adult teeth come in properly, and fixing them now means spending your time and money on restorative care. Plus, you don’t want your kids to have any pain – especially painful memories of their Easter!
Consider Alternatives To Candy
We’ve mentioned a couple of times that you can consider alternatives to chewy and hard candies. Maybe you’re wracking your brain for ideas. Let us help! Here are a few suggestions; just be sure they’re age-appropriate. If you have more ideas, feel free to reply to this post on Facebook!
- Treats like fruits, Goldfish crackers, and natural treats
- Stuffed animals, dolls, and action figures
- Sports-related treasures, like balls
- Outdoor toys, like plastic buckets and shovels (you can even make one an Easter basket!)
- Other small toys such as Fingerlings and Hatchimals
- Legos and building blocks
- Collectible cards, like Pokemon cards
- Fun toothbrushes and toothpastes
- Movies and cartoons
- Books and coloring books
- Markers, crayons, stickers, and other art supplies
- Crafty items
- Lip balm
- Classic toys like yo-yos and marbles
- Magna Doodles, Etch A Sketch, and Wooly Willy
- And so much more!
Use Real Eggs For Easter Egg Hunts
If you’re hiding eggs for an Easter egg hunt, why not use real eggs? Eggs are great snacks for kids, especially because protein is good for teeth. Some kids still like Easter egg hunts even if they don’t care for hardboiled eggs. It’s the competitiveness and satisfaction of finding all the eggs that makes it fun.
If you’re not up to dying eggs, or if you want a mix of real and plastic eggs, you can put other things besides candy in the plastic eggs. Coins and dollar bills are always a favorite. So are little knick-knacks like rings, stickers, small toys like cars, and other mini collectibles. You can even put hints on paper in plastic eggs and turn the egg hunt into a scavenger hunt with one bigger prize at the end!
Enjoy A Healthier, Happier Easter
We hope you enjoy a healthier, happier Easter this year – and a little peace of mind about your kiddos’ smiles. For more teeth tips, or to set up a biannual teeth cleaning, call our Punta Gorda, FL dentist’s office today at 941-585-0424. You can also use our online form. We’re more than happy to discuss food choices that boost smiles during any checkup, too.