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5 Tricks for Dealing with Halloween Treats

children halloweenPediatric dental experts say Halloween can be a time to teach your children good oral health habits for life, without depriving them of Halloween treats (think moderation). Here are their five best tricks for healthy teeth.

Halloween Candy vs. Cavities: Don’t Make Kids Choose

Don’t deny your children the Halloween experience. That can send the entirely wrong message — deprivation — and make candy seem even more irresistible, leading to other problems. They may end up sneaking sweets or eating too much candy once they’re out on their own. Instead, let them have the joy of Halloween in all its sticky goodness and the experience of going to a party or trick-or-treating.

After your children get back from trick-or-treating or a party, go through their bags of Halloween candy together. Tell them to each pick the 10 or so (whatever number you decide, based on factors such as age) treats they want the most.

Get the unpicked treats out of sight. You can donate them to a food bank or freeze them if you can’t bear to throw them out.

This can also be a good time to teach (or remind) children that it isn’t just excess sugar that can lead to cavities. Snacks such as pretzels, with starches that stay in the mouth longer, can also lead to cavities, as can fruit juices.

Letting children help decide what is a reasonable amount of candy to keep has benefits beyond good oral health. The message isn’t “candy is bad,” but that candy and other sweets, in excess, can lead to cavities. Children learn two important lessons:

  • How to control their diets
  • That what they eat relates to oral health, not just physical health

Preventing Cavities in Children: Set a Treat Time

With your child, set a time of day to eat Halloween candy. This ritual “treat time” may last for a short time after Halloween and help promote healthy thinking about treats:

  • Children learn that eating sweets shouldn’t be an all-day feast. Moderation is key.
  • Knowing they have a specific sweet time can help make children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day.
  • Be sure to brush after!

halloween Poster


Work Cited:

Kathleen Doheny accessed 9-19-17


Your Kids Teeth and Summer

beach.summer.It’s summer in Connecticut and you know what that means! The kids are out of school and summer activities have begun! Dr. Edmonstone’s office in Old Saybrook, Connecticut have some helpful tips and advice to help keep your child’s teeth healthy this summer and all year long. Accidents are bound to happen and taking precaution and fast action can make or break your summer if a dental emergency arises.

  • Athletic kids may suffer from unusual tooth wear and should see their dentist on a regular basis.
  • Custom fitted mouth guards are great for kids who take part in contact and non-contact sports such as little league baseball, soccer, football, basketball and even tennis.
  • Seek emergency dental treatment immediately if a tooth is knocked loose or falls out.
  • Make sure your kids are not skipping their brushing and flossing routines. They may forget since they no longer have a regular “school routine” in place.
  • Try to skip out on as many sugary snacks as possible this summer. Studies show that frequent snacking on sugary sweets can cause an increase in cavities. Check out our snacking guide below to help you and your children make the best choices when it comes to snacking.

SNACK CHART watermelon

Great Snacks

  • Fresh Fruit
  • Raw Veggies
  • Milk
  • Nuts
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Unsweetened fruit juice
  • Wheat crackers
  • popcorn

Okay On Occasion Snacks

  • Chocolate
  • Oatmeal or Butter Cookies
  • Ice Cream
  • Raisins

Unhealthy Snacks

  • Soda, cola
  • Dried Fruits
  • Granola Bars
  • Sticky Candy
  • Potato Chips
  • Fruit Rollups
  • Sandwich cookies
  • Presweetened cereals

Dr. Edmonstone and his staff are committed to providing the best dental care for your Children. We have a wonderful team of qualified dental professionals who will create a positive experience for you and your children. Please call us today  at (860) 388-0142 to schedule your cleaning appointment before the new school year starts! Enjoy your Summer!

summer kids pic







Website accessed 6/12/17 11:20am


Halloween Oral Hygiene: Keeping your Child’s Smile Healthy

Halloween night is the perfect time to talk with your kids about why taking care of their teeth is pumpkin candyimportant. Your friends at Dr. Edmonstone’s  Pediatric Dental Office want to help you protect your kids from something even scarier than zombies, ghosts and goblins this Halloween. There’s something even more bone-chilling and it’s called tooth decay!

The best way to avoid any truly tricky consequences in the aftermath of Halloween is not to consume any candy at all.  However, we know that’s highly unlikely, so below you will find  a Halloween candy guide to help protect your kids from tooth decay and thereby ensure their optimal oral health for life:

Below is a listing from most harmful to the safest treats your kids should be choosing from their best worst candytrick-or-treat bag:

Sour Power – Sour candies are the absolute worst in that studies have revealed that the acids in sour candies are so destructive because they dissolve enamel on contact!

Hardly Harmless – Hard candy needs to be sucked on for an extended period of time and very chewy candies are harmful in that they get stuck between the teeth. Both hard and chewy candy allow bacteria to wreak havoc on your child’s teeth for a much longer period of time.

Resist Raisins – Don’t be fooled by their natural derivative. Raisins easily damage dental work because they are very sticky and do not mix well with fillings, braces or retainers.

Candy Bars Get Four Stars – While we can’t say candy bars are good for your oral health, they are less harmful because they are eaten quickly allowing less time for the sugar to damage with acid.

Dissolve Your Worry – Powder candy is fairly safe as the sugar dissolves quickly and makes little contact with the teeth.

Eat Two or Three if They’re Sugar Free – As obvious as it seems, sugar-free candy is the most highly recommended Halloween treat for your children’s teeth. You can even prevent cavities by chewing sugar free gum! Sugar free gum promotes increased saliva which neutralizes harmful bacteria.

If your little monsters will be in need a routine dental cleaning after Halloween give us a call and book an appointment today!

Halloween Candy Donations- Did your child receive more than enough candy this year while trick or treating? At Dr. Edmonstones Office we are accepting any wrapped Halloween candy that you would like to donate to the local food bank. Any candy donations are appreciated and we will deliver the candy to the food bank for you!

halloween Poster





The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

little boy in chair

The Importance of Regular Dental Visits

Make dental visits part of your oral hygiene routine. Dental visits for children and adults should be every six months. Visit your dentist twice a year (or as recommended by your dental professional) to help keep tooth stains under control and identify oral hygiene issues before any serious problems arise. Have you ever wondered why the American Dental Association and your dentist recommend you come back every six months? It’s because regular dental visits are essential for the maintenance of healthy teeth and gums. And in between those examinations, it’s important that you work to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy. It might help to think of coming to the Dentist twice a year like going to your Medical Doctor for your routine physicals. It is important to have regular dental exams and cleanings to be able to keep your mouth and gums healthy year after year.

What Goes On During a Regular Visit

Checking your teeth for tooth decay is just one part of a thorough dental examination. During your regularly scheduled dental appointments, we will look at your gums, mouth, tongue and throat. There are several routine parts to a dental examination: Don’t be surprised if the dentist also examines your face, bite, saliva and movement of your lower jaw joints (TMJs). Your dentist or dental hygienist will then clean your teeth and stress the importance of you maintaining good oral hygiene at home between visits. We will pay special attention to plaque and tartar. This is because plaque and tartar can build up in a very short time if good oral hygiene is not practiced between visits. Food, beverages and tobacco can stain teeth as well. If not removed, soft plaque can harden on the teeth and irritate the gum tissue. If not treated, plaque can lead to gum disease.

The Best Oral Hygiene Routinelittle girl toothbrush

An effective oral hygiene routine starts with a few simple steps:

  • Brushing: To get the best oral hygiene results from toothbrushing, hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle to your gums, according to the American Dental Association. Use short strokes to move the brush over each tooth. For complete oral hygiene, be sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day, including the front and back sides of all your upper and lower teeth. Also, gently brush your tongue. The American Dental Association recommends replacing your toothbrush every three months to maintain oral hygiene.
  • Flossing: Flossing helps maintain oral hygiene by removing bacteria from areas between flosserthe teeth that are hard to reach by brushing alone. To floss your teeth, start with an arms-length piece of floss, and wrap most of it around the middle finger of one hand. Wrap a small amount around the middle finger of the other hand. Move the floss carefully up and down between each tooth, and make a C-shape with the floss as you reach the gum line. As you move from tooth to tooth, maximize oral hygiene by unwinding new floss from one hand and wind the used floss onto the other hand. *Flossers are also a good alternative to flossing and may be easier for children and anyone with dexterity flossissues to use.


  • Rinsing: You can also include a dental rinse (mouthwash) as part of your oral hygiene routine. A dental rinse is often recommended for additional oral hygiene if you wear braces.

Choose toothbrushes and types of dental floss that you find easy and comfortable to use and you’ll be more inclined to stick with your oral hygiene routine.






Why Are Baby Teeth Important?

Why Are Baby Teeth Important?


This is a question I receive in my practice quite often when parents learn their child has a cavity in a baby tooth that needs to be repaired:

“Why do you have to fix a cavity on a baby tooth that he/she will just lose anyway? Is it really necessary?”


It’s a great question!


Here’s the answer:

Baby teeth are very important. They play a critical role in chewing, and speaking – especially as language is developing, and in appearance. Baby teeth also help shape the form of the face.  As important as all that is however, probably the most critical role baby teeth play in a child’s mouth is that of holding space in the jaw for the developing adult teeth.


Most parents don’t realize some baby teeth will remain in a child’s mouth until he/she is approximately 12 years old, so if a cavity is found in a baby molar at around 3 years of age, on a tooth that he/she will have until he is about 12, that’s potentially a span of 9 years for the decay to grow and worsen and create all sorts of problems, for instance difficulty eating, and the potential for abscess and infection.


What do I tell parents in my practice? When I find decay on a baby tooth, my general rule of thumb is to assess the size and location of the cavity and factor in the approximate duration of time the tooth will remain in the child’s mouth. For instance, if the cavity is very small, and the tooth will only remain in the child’s mouth for less than 6 months and doesn’t have the potential to spread to other teeth, I will most often watch it and allow nature to take it’s course. Instructing parents on good oral hygiene as a preventative measure.. If however, the decay is not minor and the child will have the tooth for more than 6 months and the decay has the potential to easily spread to other healthy teeth, the solution is to repair.


As always, it’s important to remember to take your child for regular dental check-ups, twice per year, to help maintain strong and healthy baby and adult teeth.

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