Protecting Your Kids’ Dental Health at Every Age
As a parent, we know your top priority is ensuring your children's health and well-being. While you may already have a good handle on their physical health, it is important...
Are you scared of what Halloween can mean for your kids’ teeth? You don’t need to be! In general, one day of indulgence is not going to derail regular healthy dental habits. However, kids get a lot of candy and other snacks that are not the best option for teeth on Halloween.
If you want to hand out something more health-conscious this Halloween, check out our suggestions for treats that are better for teeth (and overall health) but still tons of fun.
Giving out pencils or erasers is one traditional way to avoid adding to the candy surplus kids collect on Halloween. But if you want to get even more creative, consider these Halloween candy alternatives. You might want to start shopping now to make sure you are stocked up and ready to go for October 31!
Younger kids are delighted with bubbles. And since kids are already outside trick-or-treating, it is the perfect opportunity to blow some bubbles. You can find small bubble wands in a variety of colors and themes.
What kid doesn’t like glow sticks? Glow sticks and glow jewelry can be affordable, especially when purchased in bulk. Bonus: even parents will thank you for making their kids more visible on a dark night of trick-or-treating.
Stickers and temporary tattoos are an affordable alternative to candy. Halloween options are a fun choice, but any kid-friendly theme will work great.
Looking for something different that kids will appreciate? Slap bracelets are back in style, and you can even pick out options with Halloween colors or designs.
Another fun choice is bouncy balls or any small toy. Be mindful of choking hazards for toddlers and younger kids. It is a good idea to have toddler-appropriate choices as well.
Trick-or-treating is hard work, and a refreshing drink is often welcome. Make sure to choose juice with a low sugar content or “no added sugar” on the label.
If you are going to indulge on Halloween – and the occasional indulgence is generally okay – some candy choices are better than others. Choosing chocolate bars or candy without chewy or crunchy additions is your best bet. Plain chocolate melts pretty quickly, so it doesn’t stick to teeth or get wedged between them.
Try to avoid sticky or crunchy candies. Gummies, hard candies, chocolate with caramel or nuts, and even chips or pretzels can mean sugar that sticks to your teeth. This stuck-on sugar or starch feeds bacteria, contributing to tooth decay and cavities.
You know staying hydrated is important for your health, but what does it have to do with dental health? Swishing water around your mouth can remove debris and sugar from the surface of your teeth. If you are sticking with plain milk chocolate or dark chocolate, as we suggest, a good swish of water after enjoying a treat will further help to rinse off teeth and minimize the damage caused by sugar.
Several organizations accept candy donations. If you find you have an excess of sweet treats this Halloween, consider donating some to Soldier’s Angels or Operation Gratitude.
The most important way to keep your teeth healthy year-round is with good dental habits. Brushing and flossing twice daily for two minutes and making sure you see your dentist twice per year will outweigh the occasional treat. If it is time for your dental check-up, contact our office today!