Let’s Talk Candy and Cavities with Dr. Krista Kunz of Magnolia Pediatric Dentistry in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Okay, parents. You blinked, and now it’s almost Easter. Another sugar-filled holiday. We don’t want to be (what’s the word for a springtime Scrooge?) bunny buzzkills, but man-oh-man those jelly beans do a number on teeth. We’re not saying to get rid of ALL the candy, but maybe every egg doesn’t need to be filled with sugar? We thought we’d round up some suggestions for filling your kiddos’ eggs that won’t feed cavities. In the photo above, we have glow in the dark stars, chapstick, stickers, a whoopie cushion, a car, and hair ties.

We’d also like to help you explain cavities to your kids in a way that can help them understand why it is important to prevent them.

Here are some questions that might come up and simple ways to answer them.

What are cavities?

Cavities are holes on your teeth. They start out so tiny that you can’t see them, but if the dentist doesn’t fix them, can get much bigger.

How do we get cavities?

Everyone’s mouth has bacteria in it. We need that bacteria to keep our bodies balanced and healthy. But when there’s too much bacteria they can attach to our teeth. Plaque houses the bacteria. They eat the same food we eat! And they especially love sugar. Plaque is soft and can be brushed and flossed away. This is why we brush our teeth twice a day, for two minutes each time. The bacteria that lives in plaque can eat holes in our teeth. That’s how we get cavities.

Why are cavities bad?

We need our teeth so that we can eat healthy food to make our bodies grow. We only get two sets of teeth: our baby teeth and our adult teeth. It’s important that we keep them clean and strong so that they last our whole lives. Cavities make our teeth less strong. They can also be painful!

Why is sugar bad for teeth?

There is sugar in almost all foods. The artificial sugars in soda and candy, though, are more likely to stick to our teeth. They can even be so sticky that they don’t come all the way off when we brush our teeth. It’s much stickier than the sugar that is in fruit. Natural sugars are washed away easily with our saliva. Sticky sugars in candy stay on our teeth longer and the bacteria that cause cavities will feast on it!

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