Fall is in the air and it is fun to get our little ones dressed up in costumes for Halloween and enjoy their squeals of excitement as they run from door to door. Kids love to trick or treat. Even kids of dentists do, just ask mine! I know, it is hard to believe, but I do let my kids eat candy. It is part of the fun of growing up. Here are a few tips and tricks you can use to help make Halloween enjoyable and at the same time protect your children’s teeth from cavities.
Before trick or treating, set up some candy rules such as the amount of candy your child can eat per day.Having the discussion beforehand allows for less melt downs when you finally bring your goodies home.
The frequency of the candy consumption is worse for your teeth than the amount of candy your child will eat. Schedule a certain time of the day to eat the candy. This way they are not anticipating an all day candy eating marathon. This specific set time also helps them not think about having candy other times of the day. It is the snacking of sugar throughout the day that causes the environment of your mouth to stay in an acidic state that leads to tooth decay. Having the candy after dinner is a good time because they fill up first with a proper meal and then shortly after its time to brush their teeth before bed.
Don’t allow them to keep the candy loot in their bedroom.This makes it way too available and tempting to eat the candy all day long. Instead, keep it in a cabinet out of reach and out of sight.
Some candies are worse for your teeth than others.The stickier the candy (think taffy and caramels), the longer it lingers in your mouth increasing the chances of cavities. Hard candies such as lollipops can be sucked on (don’t bite them!) and then drink some water after to rinse the sugar off your teeth.
Finally, not all trick or treat giveaways need to be sugar laden!Try giving out stickers or small toys, and by doing so you will reduce the sugar intake of your whole neighborhood.
It is unrealistic to expect our kids to avoid sugar completely during this time of year, but we can take this time to teach them about good dental habits. It is also a good time to give them a brand new toothbrush! And you know what, sneaking a few treats for yourself will help reduce your kids sugar consumption too!