If you’re a parent, then you know just how exciting trick-or-treating can be for children — and what this may mean for their teeth. While candy should be enjoyed, there are some steps you can take to safeguard your children’s health during Halloween. Here are our favorite tips to help keep you and your children’s smiles healthy through Halloween and beyond.
Avoid sticky or hard candy. Candies that stick to your mouth (think taffy and gummy bears) take longer to get washed away by saliva, putting you at risk for tooth decay. Avoid eating hard candies like jawbreakers or caramels, as well as sour candies that are high in acidity.
Eat candy shortly after mealtime. Eating candy right after a meal can help prevent tooth decay in comparison to eating candy during other times of the day. Saliva production increases during meals, helping to cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth.
Make brushing fun. A toothbrush with a fun Halloween theme can get your children excited about brushing and taking care of their teeth.
Drink plenty of water. Drinking water in between eating candy can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for those that are fluoridated.
Give out healthy treats. If you give out candy this year, opt for healthy options like cereal bars, pretzels or granola bars.
Perform a safety check. Check your children’s trick-or-treat bag once they return to make sure there are no dangerous items in their bag.
Eat candy in moderation. Candy should be enjoyed but moderation is important. Have your child choose a handful of their favorite treats and remove the rest.
Brush after eating candy. Try setting a specific time of the day for your children to eat candy and have them brush their teeth right after. This limits the amount of sugary treats your children are exposed to throughout the day. Don’t forget to have them floss!
Make dinner healthy. Have your children eat a healthy dinner before sending them out trick-or-treating. This will give them less temptation to gorge on candy later on.
Visit your dentist. Stay on top of your and your family’s oral health by regularly visiting your dentist. A comprehensive routine checkup with a trusted dentist such as Dr. Hampton can help keep your entire family’s smiles healthy and bright all year long.
Schedule your appointment today by calling The Hamptons Family & Cosmetic Dentistry at (972) 395-9292.