Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays for kids, but can be torturous for parents who are concerned about tooth decay. Instead of worrying about cavities and depriving your child of enjoying this fun holiday, here are five tips to help you and your trick-or-treaters enjoy Halloween. 1. Not all candy is created equally!
While you’re out shopping for Halloween candy and sorting through the mountain of treats after trick-or-treating, try to avoid candies that take a longer time to finish. Candies like lollipops, caramels or taffy’s are the main culprits. There is an increased risk for cavities when sugar is exposed to teeth for a longer period of time. Encourage brushing or drinking water after eating those types of candies.
2. Set up a Halloween treat time.
On Halloween, have your child pick out 10 of their favorite candies and let them enjoy their treats. After Halloween, you can set up a special treat time where they can have 1-2 candies per day. Encourage them to freeze their extra treats or donate the remainder of their candy stash. By controlling how many treats they have each day you are teaching them about self control and that candy is not necessarily “bad” for them, if consumed in moderation.
3. Brush up on your brushing!
Halloween is a great time to remind your little ones about the importance of brushing and flossing. Offer your child a new toothbrush and a fun flavored toothpaste to encourage brushing after eating Halloween treats. Create a Halloween chart reward system for brushing after consuming their treats.
4. Eat before you trick-or-treat!
By eating a healthy meal before trick-or-treating, there will be less temptation to consume as much candy. Bring a bottle of water or healthy snack with you while trick-or-treating to avoid consuming too much candy on the way home.
5. Offer healthy alternatives to candy.
Instead of purchasing sticky and sweet treats, you can offer sweets that are sugar-free and contain the artificial sweetener xylitol. Xylitol is effective in creating more saliva flow, which helps cleanse the teeth and prevent cavities. You may also want to purchase some Halloween goodies like stickers, pencils, bubbles, and plastic spiders to keep their focus on other fun things besides just candy.
We here at Great Neck and Mid-Island Dental Associates are hosting a Halloween costume contest beginning October 1st through the 31st. If your child has an appointment and they come in with their Halloween costume, they automatically win a cute prize. Call us today to book your next appointment!