The fall can be a time for tasty apple cider, pumpkin pie or candied apples, but those treats can be filled with sugar that can harm your teeth, especially for little ones. Nurse Rose, RN, shares some tips on how to keep a healthy smile while enjoying those seasonal sweets.

How Can Parents Help Their Kids Fight Cavities?

Nurse Rose: Try these tips to help protect your child’s dental health.

    • Replace your toothbrush – Change your brush every three to four months. Using the same one for a long period of time makes you less able to clean your teeth well.
    • Brush Twice a Day – Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day is the suggested time by the American Dental Association for healthy teeth.
    • Use mouthwash – This will help prevent bad breath, plaque buildup, gingivitis and tooth decay
    • Floss properly – Flossing at least once a day will help dislodge any plaque or food particles. 
    • Use a tongue scraper – Brushing alone will not get rid of bacteria on the tongue. A tongue scraper will keep your mouth feeling fresh. 

When is the Best Time to Eat Sugary Snacks if We Want to Indulge?

Nurse Rose: If you want a sugary treat, plan to eat it shortly after a meal. The increased saliva production during the meal will help neutralize acids produced by mouth bacteria and rinse away food particles. This is a good way to decrease the urge to overindulge in candy. As always, sweets should be eaten in moderation.

What Types of Sugary Snacks Are Most Harmful to Teeth?

Nurse Rose: Not all candy poses the same risk. There are certain sweets that you should avoid more than others. Hard candy and gummy bears increase the risk of tooth decay because the candy stays in your mouth for a long time.

Rose Melendez, RN

Rose Melendez, RN

Head of Emergency Department

Rose Melendez, RN is the head of the Emergency Department and Nursing Administration at Adventist HealthCare White Oak Medical Center. Tune into WGTS 91.9 FM every Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. to listen to Nurse Rose live on the radio.

Find healthy, low-sugar recipes that will help you protect your teeth and your health!