HALLOWEEN SMILE SAVERS
Halloween is almost here, which means it is time to get the children ready for trick-or-treating. If you have young children, they are probably getting excited for the Halloween fun. Although Halloween is all about dressing up, having fun and eating candy, it can be harsh on your teeth. From our dentist’s perspective, candy can be unhealthy for your teeth. If you are not careful you could be in the fast lane to cavities. It is important to establish healthy habits before the holiday even begins. Here are tips from our doctors on how to make the most out of your Halloween and keep your children healthy and potentially cavity free. Hold Off on Eating Candy You may know that when you tell children that they can’t have something like candy, that they will just want it even more. This will lead to sneaking foods when you are not looking or binging on it, both unhealthy habits. Halloween is all about having fun, so make eating candy a fun experience. You can do this by setting a candy limit, which can be important for your children’s smile. A good way to establish ground rules is to allow your kids to go trick-or-treating on Halloween, but remind them to not eat candy while they are out and about. Instead, encourage them to wait longer and together you can go through the candy. When your little ones return from their fun trick-or-treating you can go through their candy stash and encourage them to choose a certain number of candies, ones they want to eat first, then you can save the rest for later. Pick Favorites When you go through the candy together, spend time educating your children about the different types of candy. For example taffy, jolly ranchers, caramels, gummy bears and hard candy like jaw-breakers are not great for your teeth. Instead encourage a soft sweet treat, like chocolate. Candy like jaw breakers and taffy can be harsh on your gums and teeth because the extra sugar will get in between your children’s teeth and stay longer, which can cause tooth decay. You can let your children pick a range of candies so they are not doing as much damage to their teeth. Tell them to pick a favorite type of candy, and establish a plan so they don’t eat it all at once. Educate your Children Education can be fun together. It will help your kids decide what type of candy to eat and when. You will be sending powerful message that candy is not always bad for you but candy in excess, can lead to health problems like cavities. Your children will learn how to take a healthy proactive approach to their diets plus they will learn what they eat affects their smile. Create a Special Treat Time If your children are younger, make sure they know when to eat candy. Having a designated treat time, like after school they can eat 3 pieces, or after dinner they get to pick their favorite can help establish a special time to eat their treats. This can help build strong eating habits. Brush on a Schedule No matter when your children eat the candy, make sure you stick to a regular oral health routine. Brushing and flossing daily is essential, especially during the holidays as most foods have more sugar. If you have questions, please visit our office or make an appointment.