Beating the Sugar Craze: Tips from the Dentist for Handling Halloween Candy
Halloween is rounding the corner and your kids are getting excited about the characters they’re going to portray, the games they’re going to play at school, and the giant stack of candy they’re going to build during trick-or-treating. They even make a competition out of who can collect the largest candy pile. All that candy makes any parent’s heart cringe—there goes the funds for your Hawaii vacation spent on crowns and fillings for your kids’ cavity-ridden molars.
But, there’s a way to beat the cavities and the abundance of sugar to ensure your children’s dental health. Here are some good tips:
Eat shortly after meal time:
Don’t let your kids fill up on candy at times of the day when you know they’re hungry like right after school. After dinner, when your children are stuffed from the healthy vegetables, protein and grains they received, give them a few pieces of candy as a dessert. This teaches them moderation and that sweets are not a meal replacement.
Move to unknown location:
After your kids have had one or two days with the candy, collect it all and move it to a secure and unknown location, preferably centralized somewhere in your kitchen. Don’t do this Halloween night just as they’re rejoicing over their bounty because then you might be perceived as the sugar Nazi. You don’t want to deprive your kids because then the candy will seem irresistible and that leads to many problems.
Brush teeth often:
Set a schedule for brushing teeth so your children know the expectation. “In this family, we brush our teeth right before bed and the first thing when we wake up” or some other family dental health mission statement. Establishing this good routine will set them up for dental health success as they mature and eventually leave home.
Avoid hard or sticky candy:
Avoid candy that stays in your mouth for a long time. Hard caramels, suckers and the like stay in the mouth for a while and lead to tooth decay. Sticky candies like gummy bears linger on the teeth even if you don’t want them to.
Avoid sugary drinks:
You don’t want added sugar from drinks on top of the abnormal consumption of candy around this time of year. Don’t keep soda or even fruit juice in the home. Keep your kids on a mainly water-based drinking schedule.
Visit dentist often:
Come see us regularly at Surf and Smiles for a routine teeth clean for your children and a check up. We can catch potential cavities early and treat them right away and we can make sure your kids’ teeth stay healthy for years to come.