Halloween can mean a bag full of candy that will have your children overindulging in sweets for weeks to come, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Too much candy can wreak havoc on your child’s oral health, but you can let them have a few treats without too much worry. In this blog, the pediatric dentists at Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC explain how you and your kids can have a tooth-friendly Halloween.
How does candy affect oral health?
The sugars that are present in candy enable bacteria in your mouth to produce acids. This can lead to a loss of tooth enamel and eventually cause cavities.
What should you teach your kids about Halloween candy?
If you completely forbid Halloween candy, you may be making sweets even more irresistible. They may sneak candy or overindulge when they have the chance. Instead, use it as an opportunity to help your children learn about moderation and setting limits. Eating candy occasionally isn’t necessarily bad, but eating too much is.
How can you effectively limit their candy consumption?
The following tips will help you create a tooth-friendly Halloween for your kids:
- Create other activities: Halloween candy is certainly a big part of the holiday, but it doesn’t need to be the only part. Pumpkin carving, Halloween-themed games, and watching traditional specials or movies like “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” can become fun traditions that don’t make the entire holiday candy-centered so you can have a tooth-friendly Halloween.
- Sort through your child’s bag: Encourage your child to keep some of the treats that aren’t as bad on their teeth, such as chocolate and sugar-free gum. Steer them away from chewy, sticky candy like caramels and fruit snacks as well as hard candies.
- Watch out for braces: If your child has braces, you’ll need to be especially careful not to let them eat sticky candy that could get stuck in their braces.
- Keep some, donate most: Let your children pick out a certain number of pieces of candy and find something else to do with the rest. You can encourage them to partake in a Halloween candy buy-back where they can feel good by bringing in candy that’s then donated to a good cause.
- Make sure they brush right after eating candy: Brushing right after eating Halloween candy can help reduce your child’s chance of developing cavities. In addition, toothpaste can temporarily make sugary foods taste bitter after brushing.
- Step up their oral care routine: Make sure your kids thoroughly brush a minimum of twice a day, floss after meals, and use mouthwash daily. Also, make an appointment with your child’s dentist shortly after Halloween to make sure no problems are developing.
If you’d like more tips about creating a tooth-friendly Halloween or need to get a post-Halloween checkup for your kids, make an appointment today with Park View Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics in NYC. We pride ourselves on providing a high level of compassionate care in a welcoming environment that’s highly child-friendly. Call (212) 879-6518 today or fill out the form on this page to request an appointment.