Halloween is right around the corner, which means loads of candy for children and lots of stress and anxiety for parents! It is natural that parents feel anxious when Halloween rolls around, but no need to be scared. We’ve got some great tips and tricks for you to help your children maintain their dental health this Halloween!
Icky Sticky Hard Candy
When deciding which candy to give out on Halloween, do your research. It’s important to choose treats which will cause the least damage to teeth. Avoid hard, caramel, and chewy candies. These types of candies can stick to your teeth, thus increasing the chances for cavities to develop.
In terms of how bad candy is for your teeth, frequency of exposure is more harmful than quantity. This is why lollipops should be avoided as well. It takes quite a while to finish a lollipop, which means your teeth are exposed to sugar for a longer period of time. It is best to choose candies that can be consumed quickly, like chocolates. This minimizes the amount of damage to teeth.
Chocolates Can Be Healthy
You read that right, chocolate can actually be good for your teeth (in moderation, of course). Specifically, dark chocolate. Dark chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine, which can help harden tooth enamel. Furthermore, compounds in the cocoa bean husk have an anti-bacterial property and help fight against plaque. If you’re looking for the healthiest option for distributing candy this Halloween, dark chocolate should be number one on your list!
Swishing and Drinking Water
It is important to ensure that your children are not grazing on their Halloween candy all day long. Set-up a specific time in the day when they are allowed to eat some of their Halloween candy. After they are finished, have them thoroughly rinse their mouth to remove any candy stuck to their teeth. Follow that up with drinking a tall glass of water.
Candy in Moderation
Once your child gets home from trick-or-treating, they will be tempted to dive right in to eating all that yummy candy! Before you head out to trick or treat with your child, come up with a game plan together so they are not disappointed when you limit them once they get back. You can set a limit on the amount of candy they can consume each day by setting up a candy bank. Allow them to make a daily withdrawal which you can monitor. You can also have your child pick out their favorite candies from the bag and donate the rest.
Go Trick-or-Treating on a Full Stomach
One of my favorite tips is to go trick-or-treating on a full stomach. This will (hopefully) prevent the urge to eat all of the Halloween candy once they’re back! Also, be sure to take bottles of water with you, which will also help with making their stomach feel full, and keeping them hydrated!
Brushing and Flossing
Lastly, it is important to ensure your child brushes their teeth and flosses every day. Some of that Halloween candy is bound to get stuck in the crevices of your children’s teeth. Have them thoroughly brush and floss every day, especially after eating any candy!
Ultimately, the goal with providing parents with these tips is to help ensure your children have a fun Halloween, while still protecting their dental health! We hope you and your family have a great Halloween. Don’t forget to schedule an appointment for your little monsters at Naba Dental once all that Halloween candy is finished!