Fall is here and Halloween rings in the start of the sugar season! The next few months are likely to include an increase in sweets, treats, and plenty of hot chocolate. This is a great way to celebrate and spend time together, but it can have a negative impact on your oral health.
We are not implying that Halloween shouldn’t be celebrated! However, there are a few ways to minimize any damage that Halloween treats can cause to the teeth.
Dental Health Tips for Halloween
Below are some tips on how to make sure your family has a fun, tooth-friendly Halloween:
Serve a Healthy Dinner – Before sending your family out to trick-or-treat, make sure to feed them a big, healthy dinner! This will reduce the amount of candy that your children feel like they need to eat when they get home!
Hand out Healthier Treats – Avoid giving trick-or-treaters candy that’s sour (high in acid, which eats away at the tooth enamel), chewy or sticky (can pull off caps and fillings and prolongs exposure of sugar on the teeth) or hard candies (which can break the teeth or cause a choking hazard.) Instead, consider passing out pretzels, granola bars, or even chocolate, which melts away quickly and won’t harm the teeth.
Perform a Safety Check – When your child returns from trick-or-treating, go through his or her bag to make sure there are no dangerous items or potentially damaging or age-inappropriate candies or toys. Include your child in this process to help teach healthy habits.
Limit Availability – Moderation is key when it comes to Halloween candy. Don’t allow your child to binge too much, not only for his or her dental health but for overall health as well. Choose the “healthier” candy and consider removing the rest.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene – Lastly, the best way to reduce harm to the teeth is to practice good oral hygiene habits. Always have your child brush his or her teeth after eating candy and make sure your whole family brushes at least twice a day and flosses every day. Your family should also be visiting the general dentist at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and a checkup.