Valentine’s Day Treats That Won’t Cause Cavities

Valentine’s Day is another holiday that can overwhelm us with sugary treats. If you’re interested in cutting the sugar but still celebrating this holiday with your loved ones, here’s a list of possible treats for your sweets!

Basics of Teeth Care

Sticky and sweet, candy isn’t good for your kids’ teeth. Bacteria use the sugar that’s left behind on the surfaces of their teeth and turns it into harmful plaque.
Good dental hygiene basics include brushing and flossing twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. If your kids are younger, help them brush and floss in order to remove all food particles. Make sure to take your children to visit a dental professional, like this dentist in Vancouver, WA every six months. These regular exams and cleanings will keep your kids’ teeth healthy and clean.

Non-Candy Alternatives

Another way to keep kids’ teeth healthy is to celebrate Valentine’s Day with treats that aren’t candy related. Here’s a list of suggestions to help:

  • Recycled Crayons – melt unwrapped crayons in the oven using silicone heart-shaped molds. Simply pop them out when they cool!
  • Temporary Tattoos – a fun way to incorporate hearts.
  • A Variety of Stickers – include favorite superheroes or cartoon characters.
  • Pencil Toppers or Fun Erasers – these are favorites in my family.
  • Small Bottles of Bubbles – if you can, find heart-shaped bottles of bubbles.
  • Containers of Playdoh – include a variety of heart-shaped cookie cutters!

Another option is to plan a special activity, like a Valentine-themed dinner with pancakes or pizza prepared in heart-shapes. Arrange a special viewing of a romantic movie appropriate for the whole family, like Lady and the Tramp! Your kids will appreciate the time with you in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Candy Alternatives

Although candy is bad for your kids’ teeth, there are a few kinds that you might consider as a treat for Valentine’s Day. For example, sugar-free gum is a great alternative to candy that doesn’t contain sugar but is similar to a sweet treat. Others include candy made with xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that bacteria can’t turn into plaque, and dark chocolate which leaves less residue on teeth after it’s been frozen. Powder-based candy can also be less harmful to teeth, since kids generally don’t need to chew it to enjoy it.

After the candy has been eaten, have your child brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Take a turn brushing your child’s teeth, getting into those hard-to-reach areas. Have your child floss in between teeth, and rinse well with water. These steps will ensure that your child’s teeth remain healthy, even with a little candy!

Kelly Wilson is a busy mom and freelance writer. For more information about keeping your kids’ teeth healthy, contact a dentist in Vancouver, WA at We Love Smiles.

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