Most Dentists have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Halloween. We love to decorate the office and of course our kids, and enjoy the spectacle it brings. However, as dentists we are ever conscious of the fact that for most kids, collecting and eating as much candy as possible is the primary goal. For parents it can be a challenge to let the kids enjoy the season while keeping them healthy, especially their teeth.
Here’s a few tips from the team at Cannilla Dental that can keep this kids pumped up and happy, without sending their teeth on a bad path to cavities.
The Trick Is Healthy Treats – Making healthy treats that look yummy and fun can help children make better snacking choices. Try decorating healthy snacks in fun Halloween themes and make sure they are visible and accessible for your child when it’s time for a treat.
Focus on Fall Fun – Fall activities are a great way to help kids take their focus off sweets. Pumpkin patches, costume parties and arts & crafts are some popular options. This is also a great time to get some physical activity while enjoying nature. Try going on a hike, bike ride or a simple walk.
Make It About Giving Not Just Getting – This is the perfect time of year to remind children of the importance of giving to others in need. Find out what volunteer opportunities are available in your community and/or consider donating items, money or better yet, a generous portion of their Halloween candy.
Keep An Oral Health Routine – Dentists agree that teaching your children good oral hygiene habits early on will help them develop and maintain these habits as they get older. Take time this “sweet season” to teach your child about the effects of sugar on their teeth and the importance of fighting tooth decay with a daily oral hygiene routine. Some easy tips to remember are:
- Limit sugar intake (hide sweet treats)
- Avoid sticky candy that clings to the teeth and also hard candy
- Allow a treat after a meal
- Make sure they drink plenty of water
- Brush and floss twice daily and after sweet treats
- Schedule your next visit with your family dentist
Sweets may not be 100% avoidable around Halloween, but, combining healthy alternatives with a consistent oral health routine will certainly help keep your family’s smile happy and healthy.
Have a great Halloween everyone!