It’s time to trick-or-treat! It’s one of the best times of year for kids. They get to dress up like their favorite characters and their neighbors are handing out free candy! What could be better?
But for parents, Halloween is a mixed blessing. We love the joy our kids experience, we love sharing these special moments with them, but we are also concerned about all the sweets our children consume and what it might do to their teeth. But, no need to worry, there are things you can do to mitigate the negative effects of Halloween candy your child’s health so you and they can focus on fun. Here are a few tips, from Hinsdale Dental, to help you protect your children’s teeth this Halloween.
1. Set a Good Example With Alternative Treats
As more and more parents become conscious of the damaging effects of excess sugar, non-candy treats are becoming popular. You can help set the trend in your neighborhood by choosing fun, sugar-free treats to give out at your house this year. Some ideas are:
- Plastic jewelry and accessories from a party store
- Small toys from a dollar store
- Mini containers of play-doh
- Raisins or other dried fruit
- Pretzels or goldfish crackers
- Sugarless gum
2. Trade Candy for a Better Prize
Before trick-or-treating, agree on a deal with your child. Does he want a special pair of shoes? Has she been asking for a new video game? Would they like a family trip to the zoo? Make a deal with your child that you will exchange most or all of their candy for a special, non-sugar treat like these. Your child will still have the fun of dressing up and going door-to-door, and they’ll get a reward that doesn’t put their teeth in danger.
3. Prepare Your Children’s Teeth Beforehand with Regular Dental Hygiene
If your child normally has good dental health, the effects of Halloween sugar will not be as detrimental as they would be if his dental hygiene is poor. Make sure that your child normally brushes and flosses at least twice a day, and eats a diet low in sugar. Regular consumption of foods rich in calcium and vitamin D will strengthen your child’s teeth and make them more resilient to the occasional indulgence.
4. Brush Well After the Indulgence
Within the context of good dental health and a good diet, a day of indulgence doesn’t have to be a major problem. You can make the impact of Halloween on your child’s teeth as small as possible by having them brush and floss right after they indulge their sweet tooth. Flossing will ensure they get all the sticky bits out from between their teeth. Brushing will remove the sugar on the surface of their teeth so it can’t feed harmful bacteria that feed on your tooth enamel. If you don’t have immediate access to your children’s toothbrushes, have them chew sugarless gum. Research shows that chewing sugarless gum for 30 minutes after eating has a beneficial effect on oral health; it increases saliva flow, which reduces plaque acid and tooth decay.
5. Get Regular Dental Check-ups To Catch Any Problems Early
Regular dental check-ups every 6 months, including a deep cleaning by a hygienist and an evaluation by a dentist, make sure that your children’s teeth are healthy. Dentist can also apply sealants to your children’s molars to protect against cavities. And, if cavities do form, they are more easily dealt with if caught early. If your children haven’t had a dental check-up in a while, right around Halloween is a great time to schedule one. Contact Hinsdale Dental today to set up your appointment. We would love to help you keep your child’s teeth strong and healthy.
With planning and creativity on your part, you can enjoy the Halloween fun with your children while protecting their teeth, and encouraging the healthy dental habits they’ll keep for life.Return to Blog