Halloween is almost here and that means pumpkins, Charlie Brown, corn mazes, fun costumes, and CANDY (arguably the most important and best part of the whole experience, according to any child queried)!!! However, with all that fun and candy, comes health and safety challenges for Mom & Dad. It’s absolutely possible to have a Healthy Halloween that keeps your kids’ teeth safe and everyone happy though – here’s how.
- First & foremost, have a PLAN! Limiting your candy stash will always be your best bet when it comes to tooth safety, so consider having your kids pick out their very favorite pieces of candy, then donate the rest. Organizations like Operation Gratitude will let you send your candy to troops overseas and donating your candy serves to help teach your children about the importance of charity and goodwill – an extra treat!
- Speaking of going through those bags of candy…while you’re separating candy out into favorites and donations, help your children learn which candy is good and which is bad for their teeth. If there’s a candy they adore that’s not that great, let them have it but use the opportunity to teach them the “candy in moderation” lesson. Explaining the reasoning behind why certain candies just aren’t good gives them a basis to learn and grow from.
- WHEN should you eat your candy? The temptation to devour your candy straight from the trick ‘r’ treat bag will be ginormous, we KNOW, but timing is everything! (And having a piece or two immediately is no big if you’re brushing teeth soon after, just remember moderation!) Keep in mind these things.
- Eat your treats with or immediately after meals. Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinse away food particles, fighting tooth decay.
- Eat treats while drinking water. Drinking water while eating candy helps to fight against the bacteria that promotes tooth decay.
- Eat treats at designated snack times (just a couple of times a day).
- Choose your candy carefully. Hard candies that stay in your mouth for a long time subject teeth to a greater risk of tooth decay. Stick candies cling to your teeth and are harder to wash away.
- Keep up your regular dental routine of brushing and flossing. This is always important but even more so when regular candy-time is in the mix. Grab a fun Halloween-themed toothbrush to make brushing more fun!
The most important thing of all to remember this Halloween? HAVE FUN!!! Halloween is an exciting time for everyone and only comes once a year, so snack responsibly, brush & floss regularly, and those pearly whites will keep on shining!