It wouldn’t be Halloween without the costumes, the haunted houses, and — of course — the candy.
Believe it or not, there is a way to include sugary treats in your celebration without it wreaking havoc on your family’s dental health.
Continue reading for ways to keep what’s truly scary — tooth decay and gum disease — away from your little goblin this Halloween. Then, when the trick-or-treating is over, schedule a routine cleaning at Dentistry for Children. We specialize in comfortable care for patients 18 and younger!
Call one of our three convenient locations today to make an appointment.
1. Limit Candy Consumption
At the end of trick-or-treating, it’s tempting to come home, dump the Halloween candy on the floor, and let the feasting begin. But the best way to prevent tooth decay on Halloween and the rest of the year is to limit your consumption of sugary snacks. Plaque-causing bacteria love sugar as much as (if not more than) we do!
Before the trick-or-treating begins, it’s important to establish some ground rules with your kids. How much candy will they be allowed to eat at the end of the night and in the coming days? Talking through these things beforehand means less heartache for everyone later on.
It’s also important to eat a nutritious meal before heading out trick-or-treating. Everyone will be less likely to pig out on sweets afterward.
And while your child is consuming Halloween candy, make sure he or she is drinking plenty of water. This will prevent sugary particles — which invite bacteria — from sticking to their teeth.
In the days and weeks after Halloween, some parents find it helpful to use the candy as a reward for when their children complete their chores or other good behavior. This stops kids from indiscriminately snacking on candy.
2. Choose Treats That Are Not So Bad For Your Teeth
If you’re passing out candy this Halloween, you can help encourage good dental health in your visitors.
Want to know what candies to avoid this Halloween? Gummies and caramels fall into this category. These treats have a way of wedging themselves into the grooves and crevices of your teeth, where even the best brushing and flossing can’t reach.
It’s also best to avoid sour candies since acidic substances can eat away at your enamel. Popcorn balls, though a classic Halloween treat, can also be treacherous territory since the kernels often get stuck in between your teeth.
So, what should go in your candy bowl? Chocolates and snack-sized bags of pretzels are a good choice. But here are some of the best options if you want to encourage healthy teeth this Halloween:
- Dark chocolate. It’s full of antioxidants that can prevent infection.
- Sugarless chewing gum. There are even brands that have earned the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
- Small bottles of water. Drinking water while eating candy will help dislodge sugary particles that might otherwise stick to teeth.
- Non-food treats. Stickers, temporary tattoos, or even glow sticks are sure to please!
3. Talk With Your Kids About Healthy Dental Hygiene
Halloween is a great time to teach your kids about why brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist are so important.
Bacteria feast on sugar and other food particles that linger on your teeth. They also produce a weak acid that eats away at your teeth. This is what causes tooth decay and cavities. Similarly, bacteria can hide along your gumline. This is what causes gum disease.
Brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, as well as flossing once daily, helps remove some of that bacteria. This, paired with regular dental cleanings, is an effective way to fight tooth decay and gum disease!
For fun Halloween activities that teach kids about dental health, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is a great place to start.
Visiting The Dentist Doesn’t Have To Be Scary!
If your child (like a lot of adults) is apprehensive about going to the dentist, consider making Dentistry for Children your preferred pediatric dental care provider. We know going to the dentist can be scary at first, so we aim to go above and beyond to make sure your little one is comfortable!
At Dentistry for Children, we use state-of-the-art dental technology, like our Solea CO2 laser, to ensure precise and comfortable dental care. We also offer three sedation options for kids who are undergoing certain procedures or are just experiencing intense anxiety surrounding their visit.
And of course, happy Halloween from all of us at Dentistry for Children!