Halloween is one of the biggest holidays of the year and one of the main focuses is, you guessed it, candy! Sugar consumption in general can pose a problem for kiddos, especially for younger children who may not have developed the best brushing habits yet. Understanding the dangers of Halloween candy and tooth decay is the first step to making sure your child’s teeth stay healthy during this candy-filled time!
Reinforce Proper Brushing Techniques
Your child is sure to get plenty of candy on Halloween night, but that doesn’t mean their teeth have to suffer. Take this opportunity to remind your child how important it is to brush and floss regularly. Show them how bits of candy can easily get caught between their teeth and how to properly remove any that does get stuck. Make sure they are brushing and flossing properly after enjoying their sweets. One way to give your child an incentive to brush is by dropping a brand new toothbrush into their Halloween bucket for them to start using that night!
Stage a Candy Swap
Maybe your child has had their eye on a small toy for some time. Use this to your advantage by swapping out some of the stickier candy in trade for that toy. Chances are, your son or daughter would rather have something they can play with for weeks than a few pieces of candy that will be gone in minutes.
Know What Candy is the Worst
While any type of food that is sugary, candy or otherwise, will be bad for your teeth, the stickier candy will cause the worst tooth decay. Sweets that are gummy, such as taffy, stick to the teeth easier and are harder to remove. Dried fruits, sour candies, and even fruit snacks can contribute to tooth decay, so try to avoid letting your child eat these types of Halloween candy. If they do, be sure they understand that they need to brush right after to remove any bits that are left behind.
Don’t Go Overboard
If you try to ban Halloween candy completely after your child is done trick-or-treating, it will only lead to resentment and make them want it even more. This is the time to teach your child that a healthy diet is all about moderation. Set up a plan beforehand regarding how many pieces of candy your child may eat after they get home from their fun-filled night. If your child knows that he or she is allowed to indulge here and there, they are less likely to go overboard themselves.
At Farmington Dental and Orthodontics, we are committed to high quality, personal dental care. Let your Halloween holiday be scary because of ghosts and goblins, not because of tooth decay!
Contact us today for an appointment!