The dream of every little ghoul, goblin, witch, and warlock – to come home from a night of trick-or-treating with a bag loaded with sweet treats – can easily become a parent’s nightmare, especially for those concerned about protecting their kids oral health. Fortunately, Halloween can serve as a great time to teach kids about the importance of enjoying quality oral health, without keeping their candy out of reach. Here are a few tricks from your choice for the best dentistry Sonora, CA has, that will help treat your kids’ teeth this Halloween.
Cavities or Halloween Candy – Don’t Make Kids Pick
Kids are generally too adorable in their costumes for parents to cancel Halloween just to protect the health of their teeth. Besides, denying kids candy sends the wrong message and just makes candy seem even more irresistible. They could just end sneaking candy or end up eating too many sweets as a result. Instead, let your kids enjoy trick-or-treating and enjoy the spoils of their adventure.
After your kids get back home, take some time to go through their candy. Tell them to pick out the handful of treats they want most. You may want to set a different limit on how many pieces they can keep depending on each child’s age. Get the rest of the candy out of sight, and either donate it or keep it around as a special treat should you not have the heart to throw it out.
This makes a great time to teach your kids that eating excess sugar isn’t the only type of treat that can lead to the development of cavities. Snacks like pretzels, full of starches that tend to linger in the mouth longer, can also cause cavities, as can artificially sweetened fruit juices.
Letting kids help decide what’s an appropriate amount of candy to keep around has other benefits than just promoting better oral health. The message isn’t “candy is bad,” but rather that candy and other sweets when eaten in excess can lead to the development of cavities. Children can learn two important lessons:
- Why controlling their diet matters
- What they eat affects their physical and oral health
Schedule a Treat Time
Along with input from your kids, schedule a time to eat Halloween candy. This daily “treat time” may last past the Halloween season and should help promote healthy thinking about treats:
- Kids learn that eating sweets isn’t an all-day activity and that moderation is key.
- Knowing that a specific treat time exists can help make kids less likely to think about eating candy at other times of the day.
Schedule a Time to Brush
Regardless of when treat time is scheduled, it’s important that the time to brush follows soon after. If it’s in the evening, for example, brushing and flossing prior to bedtime will help remove recent sweets from your kid’s mouth. Parents should continue to help brush their kid’s teeth until the age of 7 or 8. Even after the age of 8, parents should continue to monitor their kids brushing habits to ensure they continue to perform the habit adequately.