It is almost Halloween, which means your children might be getting excited to trick or treat. Halloween tends to be kid’s favorite holiday because of the candy and free goodies. But for dental professionals or parents, Halloween isn’t always so fun. The candy can cause extreme high and low energy in your children as well as health issues like cavities and toothaches.
But there is no need to fret the frightening holiday, you can still have a great holiday and it starts with education. Take time to let your children know the benefits of good oral health.
Sharing your perceptive with your children can help them make healthy choices. Here are our favorite tips to help you help your children stay healthy this Halloween.
Establish a Limit
We don’t recommend you deny your children the Halloween fun of trick or treating. But there are ways to make it healthier for your little ones. Sometimes when you tell children they can’t do something it makes them want to do it more, so this would often lead to other problems.
The best thing is to do is allow them to have a fun experience and enjoy Halloween fully, but speak to them about the experience before they go trick or treating.
When your children return from trick-or-treating go through their candy bags together. You can tell them to pick a certain number of candies based on age, height and weight etc.
The candy they don’t pick you can remove from sight. Many parents will donate the extra candy to a food bank or put them in the freezer.
When you go through the candy together you can also use that time to educate your children about the different types of candy. For example caramels, taffy, chewy gummies and hard candy like jaw breaker candy is worse for your teeth than chocolate based candy. This is because the sugar can rest on your teeth longer, which can cause tooth decay. You can let your children pick a range of candies so they are not doing as much damage to their teeth.
When you work with your children, it can help them decide what is a reasonable amount of extra candy to eat and it has benefits them in many ways. The message you send is not “candy is bad,” but that candy and other sweet foods, in excess, will often lead to cavities. Your children will learn two important lessons:
- How to take a proactive approach to their diets
- That what they choose to eat relates to their smile, not just their physical health
Set a Treat Time
With your young child, it is a good idea to set a time of day where they can eat Halloween candy. This is a good ritual you can use as “treat time” which can last long after Halloween. It can help promote healthy thinking as well.
Set Up a Brushing and Flossing Schedule
No matter when you choose to have treat time, it is important to brush their teeth soon after. Brushing and flossing their teeth before bed will help brush off all the sweets. Fluoride mouth rinses are a good choice for children who eat candy as well. Mouthwash for kids can also help prevent tooth decay, according to the American Dental Association.
If you have questions, please visit our office or make an appointment at our Hillsdale dental office today.