Halloween is on its way, and that can only mean one thing: candy, candy, and more candy. Halloween candy remains one of the biggest detriments to a child’s dental health, and it seems almost inevitable that your child’s teeth will see a sudden influx of sugar come October 31st. The good news is that you can still ensure that your child doesn’t sacrifice their dental health after trick-or-treating. Here are some ways to keep your child’s teeth healthy this Halloween.
Know which types of candy to avoid.
While of course it’s best to avoid sugary candy completely, chances are your child will want to enjoy something sweet on October 31st. Certain types of candy are definitely better than others when it comes to your teeth. Hard candy, for example, harms the teeth significantly because it stays in the mouth for an extended period of time, giving the sugars ample time to combine with bacteria and work away at your tooth enamel. Gummy candy, meanwhile, has a tendency to get stuck to molars, also keeping excess amounts of teeth-damaging sugar in the mouth. Even treats like pretzels that linger in the mouth longer have high potential for damaging tooth enamel. Sugar-free candies and dark chocolate are better types of candy to indulge in when you’re keeping dental health at the forefront.
Go through candy with your child.
Going through candy with your child after trick-or-treating is a great way to instill strong dental care values and habits in your children. Sit down with your child and go through their candy with them, allowing them to pick 10 or so treats that they want to most, reminding them of which types of candy will harm their teeth the most and how indulging in sugar in excess can cause cavities.
Keep extra candy out of sight.
Remember: one main lesson you want to teach here is that sugar in excess is especially harmful to teeth. Help your child enjoy their favorite treats in moderation by keeping extra candy out of sight or in the freezer for a later time.
Enjoy treats with a meal.
It’s always better to enjoy a sugary treat with a meal than as a snack in between meals because the other foods consumed during a meal will help stimulate saliva production and offset sugar levels in the mouth. Make an occasion out of enjoying Halloween candy and let your children have their Halloween treats right after dinner.
Maintain a strong dental care routine.
Of course, you’ll want to maintain a strong dental care routine with your children during Halloween season. Get a new toothbrush for your child if needed, letting your child pick out his or her favorite brush. Make sure that your child brushes every morning and night for two to three minutes, cleaning every tooth surface, and then follows up each brushing with floss and mouthwash.