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Halloween is the ultimate holiday for kids. However, your kids’ favorite day of the year can quickly turn into your biggest nightmare for their teeth. As candy piles up on your living room floor, you may begin to become concerned over the damaging potential of every sticky treat. Be prepared in planning for a safe Halloween by following these 10 tips and tricks for a tooth-friendly holiday.
Eating Halloween Treats Is Fine In Moderation
Setting a candy limit for how much candy your children can consume on Halloween night, and for the nights that follow candy-collecting is essential for everyone’s oral health. Creating candy limits is a great way to enjoy your delicious treats but in moderation. Stick with your established rules to reduce the amount of sugar consumed all in one sitting.
Choose Candy Wisely
Suckers, chewy, and sour candies are some of the worst options for little trick-or-treaters. Anything that keeps sugar in the mouth longer than a piece of chocolate is sure to be damaging. Choose candy wisely and always remember that quickly-dissolving chocolate is the best treat for your teeth!
Avoid Sticky Sweets
Chewy candies like taffies, gummy worms, dots, and caramels are the most damaging Halloween treats. These sticky sweets are high in sugar and spend a lot of extra time stuck to the cracks and surfaces of your teeth. These types of candies are challenging for saliva to break down, which gives bacteria a sugar feast.
Get Creative In Candy Trading
Kids love a new toy just about as much as they love candy. Consider a family trade-in program that allows your children the option of trading in their candy to purchase something else that they have been wanting. After all, a new doll or that pair of shoes they’ve been wanting is sure to be less damaging to their teeth and your pocketbook in the long run.
Don’t Leave Candy Out
Leaving a big bowl of candy out on your kitchen counter is going to be a massive temptation to anyone walking by. Keep left-over candy stashed away and only bring it out at a specific time of the day for snacking, such as immediately after lunch or dinner. This will help to keep constant snacking to a minimum.
Counterbalance With a Healthy Diet
Before heading out to go trick-or-treating, ensure that everyone has a full stomach from a healthy and balanced meal. Your children are less likely to overload on candy if their stomachs aren’t empty. Fuel with five healthy foods to one sugary treat and teach your child that what goes into our bodies provides energy throughout the day.
Stay Away From Sugary Drinks
Staying hydrated while out trick-or-treating will not only keep your bodies maintained, but it will also help to rinse away left-behind sugar from eating candy. The most effective way to combat the sugar rush in the mouth is by drinking plenty of water and staying away from sugary drinks.
Give Candy Away
Have your children sort through their candy stash and separate their stockpile into two categories: keep and give away. There are some excellent programs that will accept your donated candy, such as Soldiers’ Angels. This program takes your donated candy and sends it to soldiers overseas.
Incorporate Sugarless Gum
Following meals or snacks, surprise your child with sugarless gum and give that mouth a 20-minute workout. Chewing sugarless gum after meals minimize tooth decay, because increased saliva serves as a natural mouthwash, lessening food from staying in the mouth and neutralize bacteria production caused by acid. Sugarless gum serves as a spontaneous treat in place of sweets.
Make Extra Time For Oral Hygiene
A long night of trick-or-treating and being up late last usual bedtimes can lead to cranky kids. It may be tempting to have everyone change into pajamas and head straight to bed when you get back home, but don’t do it. Halloween is the one night where you should prioritize flossing, brushing, and rinsing. Any time your child is enjoying candy or sweets, it’s essential to clean any left-behind sugars from their teeth to avoid cavities.
If a dental emergency happens to follow your Halloween celebrations, contact Dr. Aubrey Baudean DDS to schedule an emergency or routine checkup appointment. We’re always available to help!