Tips for a Sweet, Cavity-Free Halloween

As a holiday based almost entirely on getting and eating as much candy as possible, Halloween may seem destined to cause more than a few cavities across the country this year. Thankfully, with a few simple tips, you can minimize the sugar overload without taking the fun out of trick-or-treating.

Devise a Candy Plan

The best way to make sure you and your kids have the same expectations regarding Halloween candy is to talk about it before the holiday arrives. You have a few options for restricting the amount of candy your children ingest:

  • Limit the number of houses you visit.
  • Give your children a smaller bucket or bag to take trick-or-treating.
  • Parcel out the candy slowly over the year, such as by allowing a piece or two for dessert each day.

Whatever methods you choose, include your children in the conversation. Explain that you’re not limiting their candy intake to be mean—you want to help them make a healthy choice for their teeth and body.

Consider a Candy Swap

If you don’t feel comfortable allowing your child to have a bucket of candy, even if you spread out its consumption, consider another option called a candy swap. This is when you trade the candy your child earned from trick-or-treating with a sugar-free reward.

You might do this all at once by replacing the whole pile of candy with a toy your child has wanted for a while. You can also do it piecemeal, offering small rewards such as stickers, colored pencils, or anything else you think your child would enjoy in exchange for individual pieces of candy.

Hand Out Sugarless Treats

If you don’t want a mountain of candy in your own home, don’t give it out to the neighborhood kids. You have plenty of sugar-free options to offer the vampires, ghosts, and witches that knock on your door, including:

  • Pretzels
  • Raisins
  • Plastic spider rings
  • Sticky hands
  • Glow-in-the-dark critters
  • Halloween-themed pencils and erasers
  • Mini slinky toys
  • Small boxes of crayons
  • Mini glow sticks

Remember to Brush and Floss

It doesn’t matter whether your children eat one piece of candy or 10—after Halloween is over, ensure that they brush their teeth. Make this a habit every morning and night to help prevent tooth decay. A fun new toothbrush may help get your children excited about brushing.

Also, don’t forget the importance of flossing. As soon as two of a child’s teeth touch, food can get stuck between them, especially gummies and other chewy candy. Help children with brushing and flossing once they reach age 6 or 7 to make sure they’re doing it correctly. After that, continue to monitor them until you’re confident they have the hang of it.

Clearly, Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for your kids’ oral health! For more tips, or to schedule your family’s next dentist visit, please contact Glenwood Premier Dental in Hazlet at (732) 264-4477.

 

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