Halloween is just around the corner bringing trick-or-treaters a free stockpile of sugary sweets. Along with the surge of excess sugar in children’s diets comes a list of parental concerns, including the potential for cavities. However, no candy-loving child is going to want to forgo their Halloween bounty in the name of dental health. In order to maintain a status quo between childhood delight and oral safety, here are 10 dental tips to negotiate candy consumption for a healthy Halloween:
- Eat candy near or after mealtime – having a full stomach reduces candy consumption.
- Limit frequent snacking on candies – more frequent introduction of sugar to the mouth throughout the day is worse for your teeth then the same amount at one time.
- Choose softer candies and those that stay in your mouth for a shorter period of time versus hard candies
- Maintain a healthy diet in between candy consumption
- Set a limit on how many pieces of candy your child can enjoy. Not only will this help reduce tummy aches but will help to reduce overall intake.
- Make sure to floss nightly between all your teeth.
- If possible, choose a sugarless gum or candy as a sweet treat over a traditional candy
- Drinking water after consuming candy can help to clear sugar from the oral cavity
- Limit additional sugary beverages – sodas are worse for your teeth than the occasional candy bar. It is especially important during Halloween to look out for additional sugar sources.
- Brush teeth morning and night for two minutes. Children often do well with a timer. Young children should get assistance with brushing.
Most children want to have fun during Halloween which means the days or weeks following the holiday will be filled with questions of when they can eat their Halloween candy. However, adopting a simple plan of how to combat the increase of sugar in their diet can make a sugary-sweet holiday gentler on their oral health.