A Dental Care Survival Guide to Halloween
Halloween is a fun, candy-filled holiday for kids (and even for adults) — but it doesn’t have to be a nightmare for you or your child’s teeth. Following a few guidelines can help keep your family’s teeth healthy while indulging in this fun holiday and all its tasty treats. Here’s your dental care survival guide to Halloween.
Talk With your Kids About Candy
After the Halloween festivities, talk with your kids about oral health before they dive into all of their sweet treats. This is a great opportunity to remind them about the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums. Then, have them select a few of their favorite candies and put the rest away somewhere they can’t reach. After the initial binge, limit their intake to one to two pieces of candy a day, always after a meal. Then, remind them of the importance of brushing and flossing before bed to ensure all the sticky candy and taffy are clear of the tooth's surface.
Indulge in Sugar-Free Alternatives
If possible, choose sugar-free hard candies instead of chewy, gummy, or taffy candies. All candy increases the risk of cavities, but sticky snacks have a way of getting stuck between the teeth leading to even more dental issues. Sugar is a big cause of tooth decay and cavities, so choosing sugar-free alternatives can help limit the risk.
Choose the Right Treats
Avoid gummy or sticky candy that can get stuck to the grooves on your child’s teeth. Because sugar from sweets like Sour Patch Kids or Laffy Taffy can remain on the teeth after brushing, these candies should be avoided, when possible. Highly acidic candies like Warheads can break down the enamel of the teeth, which doesn’t grow back. Chocolate is a great treat because it melts more quickly, and the sugar doesn’t linger on the teeth for hours after eating. No matter what candy you choose, try to encourage your kids to brush before bed so the sugar doesn’t linger on the tooth's surface.
Keep Up Healthy Dental Practices
Especially during this season of increased sugar intake, it’s important to keep up healthy dental habits. Brushing and flossing twice a day helps remove sugar and bad bacteria from the top of the teeth and from getting stuck in the gaps between the teeth. Maintaining a healthy diet and visiting the dentist regularly can help ensure your child’s teeth remain healthy and strong. Halloween is a fun time, but it doesn’t have to derail your child’s oral health. Choosing sugar-free candies and other creative spooky snacks can help reduce the amount of sugar in your child’s mouth. And, of course, maintaining healthy dental practices will ensure your child has a great time without long-term harm to their teeth. Of course, we want you to enjoy every holiday while always taking care of your oral health. If you have questions about what spooky snacks your child should enjoy or avoid — just ask your dentist at your next appointment. If and when your child does indulge in spooky, sugary sweets — just make sure they brush those teeth!