Dental Tips for a Healthy Halloween!
It’s Halloween time again. Yards are beginning to be decorated and costume stores are springing up. Many children are still planning on trick or treating in some capacity this year and everywhere you look your favorite candy is sitting there wrapped in those iconic and appealing packages. To all our sweet tooth Halloween lovers, kids and adults, here are some useful tips from your favorite dentist who shares your love for all things sweet and tasty.
1. Select the better candy! Not all candy is equal when it comes to how it can affect children’s teeth. Those candies that are sticky, shiny and require a lot of chewing tend to be the worst. The taffies and caramels are notorious for sticking in between the teeth for hours which gives that sugar plenty of time to eat through the enamel.
2. Time those treats! Complete avoidance during Halloween is difficult to do and never the answer. Instead teach safer sugar consumption behaviors. Encourage them to eat sugary foods right after they eat a meal. This works two well for two reasons: First it teaches them to avoid the temptation to eat candy after they have brushed. Second, According to the American Dental Association after a meal assists in canceling out some of the harmful acids that lead to tooth decay.
3. Create a Candy Budget! The typical trick-or-treat candy haul can last a month of longer if you focus on teaching your children to moderate. This will help you to manage the amount of plaque that candy can cause in a more reasonable time frame and will prevent any unnecessary weight gain.
4. Reduce the sugar elsewhere! Most kids won’t mind if you replace their typical sodas and sports drinks in exchange for some of their Halloween candy. This allows you to avoid exacerbating the risk for tooth decay and possible might save you a few dollars in the expense of those sodas etc.
5. Eat Dinner Before Trick-or-Treating! Eating a good healthy meal before heading out for a night of trick-or-treating can keep kids from breaking into their candy early in the night before you can monitor to see what they have received and what they are eating.
6. Drink plenty of water! Drinking water helps clean the teeth and gums and minimizes the build-up of bacteria that lead to tooth decay.
7. Reinforce the brushing schedule! Take this time to reinforce brushing and flossing to your children. Set good habits now that they will take with them into adulthood.
8. Don’t Feel Bad! Don’t let yourself feel like the “bad guy” for being a good parent. Continue to do what’s best for your children. As they grow up they will be grateful for the self-control you given them and the unnecessary dental work you spared them from. Make sure your children understand why these rules are in place and reward them for their own good decisions.
9. Be Safe! Don’t keep candy that looks like it’s been tampered with or has packaging that is home made. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
10. Schedule a Checkup! You are probably thinking about the health of you and your children’s dental health as Halloween approaches. It’s the perfect time to schedule a checkup. Contact our office today to request an appointment.