Snacking. . . . we all do it. But constant snacking supplies a continuous smorgasbord of nourishment for the ravenous, cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth. Additionally, your kids are likely being supplied with candy, cookies, and other treats from their friends and school as well, especially at holidays like Valentine's Day. You and your family can enjoy that sweet treat with less damage to your teeth by doing the following:
1. Choose chocolate over hard candy and gummies. Gummy candy becomes stuck between your teeth, and hard candy gives your teeth a sugar bath the entire time you are eating it! Chocolate lovers, you are in a little better luck, because chocolate washes down a little better, but you are still not completely in the green. Be sure to brush your teeth first chance you get!
2. If you do consume candy (or any other snacks), brush and floss your teeth as soon as you can. If you are unable to do so, at the very least, swish your mouth with water or chew gum. Doing so does not replace brushing and flossing, but may help. Consider eating your treats with a meal and brushing afterward.
3. Teach your children to swish their mouths with water at school after eating. You can set the example and have them practice doing so after family dinners at home or at restaurants.