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Sticky Toffee and Tricks with Treats

With Halloween and Bonfire Night many children will be indulging in sweets, as well as deciding what costume to wear for trick and treating or fireworks parties, but don’t let these fun days turn into an oral health nightmare. Keep your child’s smiles safe from creepy cavities and sticky plaque.  Katie Collier, dental hygienist at Granta Dental talks about keeping your mouth healthy.

Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth even after brushing. It’s important to brush your teeth two times a day for at least 2 minutes. If plaque is left on the tooth surface and gums this plaque can increase your chances for decay and gum inflammation. Plaque commonly is the same colour as your teeth, so staining your teeth with disclosing tablets aids in helping your child see the areas they are missing.

Why not combine the fun of Halloween with establishing great dental habits.  Do your kids like scary halloween masks and ghoulish faces?  Disclosing tablets are an effective tool to help motivate and keep us on track with our brushing – and they temporarily stain your mouth and teeth – giving a great Halloween look.

Don’t just limit it to Halloween - using these tablets at least once a week is beneficial and you will be surprised how many areas in your mouth you have missed. The most common areas where people miss when brushing is the back teeth and along the gum line.

A few tips and tricks from Granta Dental

A trip to see the hygienist

There really isn’t an age limit, as soon as your child’s teeth have come through, make an appointment and see the hygienist. This slowly introduces a young child to the dental environment and also helps put in place good oral habits which will carry with them as they grow.

I like to make a child’s first visit seeing me fun and interactive, and this also gives parents an opportunity to ask questions and get advice.

How to use disclosing tablets

If it is the child’s first time using the tablets I often recommend parents have their child wear an old top in case they get the dye on it. It can sometimes be a little messy especially with younger children.

Have your child brush their teeth first then use the disclosing tablet, make sure they crunch the tablet completely, and don’t worry if they accidently swallow the tablet, it's quite harmless.

Keeping a photo diary

Take a picture of your child's teeth after they have disclosed their teeth, keep this as a record showing the progress they have made.

I recommend this to parents and I find that at the next visit with me children are happy to show me their photo diary and progress.

Listen to music

Many parents struggle to get their children to brush for 2 minutes, I recommend having a child listen to their favourite song which usually plays for more than 2 minutes, while brushing their teeth.

Sometimes this is a good motivator and reminds them to keep brushing till the song finishes, since Halloween is just around the corner try a spooky song.


Halloween is a fun time, but remember to try and keep sweets to meal times, avoid leaving sweets out for children to eat through out the day.

Also introduce fruit and vegetables as an alternative.

Have spooky, fun and safe celebrations!

Posted on 3 November 2015
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