Halloween is just around the corner, which means your children are already gearing up to go trick-or-treating in their costumes. However, with all of that sugar, some of the candy your children will collect might be more of a trick than a treat.
You want your children to have fun and enjoy the rewards of walking around the whole neighbourhood. But you want them to stay healthy too. With our tips, you can achieve both of these goals. Discover which candy to avoid, and learn a few techniques to keeping your children’s smiles strong long after the holiday.
Treats to Hide
When your children dump out all of their Halloween treats, look out for these types and limit the amount of chewy, hard, and sour candies your kids eat.
Chewy, Sticky Sweets
The winner of the most dangerous Halloween candy? Anything sticky or chewy, such as caramels, taffy, and gummy candies. This type of candy can get stuck in the crevices of your teeth. If sugar sits on your teeth for a longer period of time, you increase your chance of cavities and decay. If your child has braces, avoid these treats altogether since caramel or taffy might stick between the wires.
Hard candies are tricky. Sucking on a lollipop or small candy produces saliva, and saliva will keep plaque from building up on your children’s teeth as fast. However, because hard candies dissolve slowly, the sugar has more opportunity to decay your teeth. As you could guess from the name, jawbreakers and other types of hard candy can even chip your teeth.
Any sour candy is not only coated in sugar, but it has a higher level of acidity that breaks down enamel. If your children can’t live without that sour gummy worm, have them wait a little while to brush or wash out their mouths with water first, so they aren’t spreading the acidic ingredients around.
Treats to Celebrate
Make sure your kids reach for these sweets first:
Sugar-Free Candy and Gum
We understand the predicament with this suggestion: what Halloween candy doesn’t have sugar? Many brands have started manufacturing sugar-free options of their most popular candy. If your neighbours are health-conscious enough to buy these products, thank them and let your kids eat up.
If your child’s trick-or-treat bag is packed with nothing but sugar, consider buying some sugar-free gum. After they eat a few pieces of candy, your children can chew gum to get rid of food particles, increase saliva, and prevent tooth decay.
Luckily, the most popular Halloween candy is actually one of the better options for your oral health. Chocolate melts fast, so the sugar won’t linger on your teeth like other options. Dark chocolate even contains antioxidants that are good for your little one’s heart. Just watch out for sticky centers, like caramel or nougat filling, or tough nuts that could chip a tooth.
Tips for Better Oral Hygiene
Let’s face it: your children will end up eating at least some candy. Be responsible about how much they eat, and be prepared to keep their teeth clean afterward.
Eat in Moderation
A sugary treat here and there isn’t bad. Candy becomes problematic for your teeth – and for your health overall –when it’s eaten frequently. Explain to your children that too much candy could hurt their teeth or make them feel sick. Even if you teach your children to control what or how much they eat, you need to set rules in place.
Ask your children to save their treats until you all get home, and watch to make sure they are following that rule. Once you get home, decide on the number of candies they can take and eat right then. Then, put the candy out of sight until the next day. You might decide your children can have another piece or two after their lunch or dinner. If your children still beg for something sweet after their allotted amount of candy, try giving them a piece of fruit or another healthier option.
Keep up with Regular Brushing
Your children should brush their teeth every morning and evening, but it’s especially important to brush soon after eating a lot of candy on Halloween night. Check your kids’ habits. They should brush for a full two minutes, floss once a day, and use a gentle mouthwash. You should look at their teeth afterward to make sure all of the candy bits are gone.
To make this unappealing routine more fun, you can buy a new toothbrush for each of your children or find disclosing tablets. The tablets will temporarily stain teeth to show plaque, which is perfect for the gross-out holiday.
It is also important to keep up with regular dental check-ups. Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean your children’s teeth need to be scary. Follow these tips, and everyone will have a beautiful smile to add to his or her costume next year. Contact Abougoush Family Dental Care to schedule an appointment for your child’s next dental exam in Calgary!