It’s easy for kids of all ages to regard Halloween as the gateway to the holidays and all the indulgences that follow. Pediatric dentistry is on the front lines of the battle between celebrating the season and ensuring healthy teeth. Experts suggest compromising with your kids when it comes to sweets by giving them desirable alternatives and healthy teeth habits.
1. Candy’s Not Everything
Your kids probably have something they’d enjoy more than some of that Halloween candy. Give them the option to trade the candy for credits they can use to buy it. Whether you give them the cash or tokens in trade, it will turn the candy sacrifice into something that they will enjoy more.
Not all candy is created equal in terms of pediatric dentistry. Gummy candies and caramel chews and suckers can loosen fillings, resulting in an emergency trip to the dentist. In the event they top your children’s favorites list, assign those candies a higher barter value to save their existing dental work.
2. Set a Healthy Precedent
Instead of stocking your Halloween candy bowl with sugary-sweet milk chocolate, opt for those with 70 percent cacao or higher instead. Dark chocolate packs plenty of nutrition, while milk and white chocolate candies do not.
3. Candy Isn’t the Only Culprit
Besides inspecting the candy once it’s home, read the label for all the treats, including beverages. Juices in boxes and bottles are usually packed with sugar, along with energy and snack bars. Until new labeling takes effect that specifies naturally occurring fruit sugars versus added sugars, it will be difficult to sort out the healthy from the artificially sweetened products. Regardless of origin, all sugars can harm teeth, but those with natural sugar are likely to have more food value.
4. Swish It Away
Teach your kids to rinse their mouths out with water after eating candy and consuming sweetened drinks. For them, it might be a small price to pay for a handful or two of their treasured treats. Brushing or rinsing the sugars away goes a long way toward keeping their teeth healthy and cavity-free.
5. Teach Moderation
A surefire way to peak a child’s curiosity is to deny them access to it, and Halloween candy is no different. While sweets in any form have little value as food, they’re omnipresent in stores, schools, and movie theaters and especially common during the holidays.
Instead of treating sugar as the forbidden fruit, make it available within reason, and teach the kids how to moderate their consumption. Tooth brushing or mouth rinsing should become an automatic response after eating or drinking sweetened foods.
With these pediatric dentistry tips, your children should be able to enjoy their indulgences without paying the price later. When you lay the groundwork for Halloween, it’ll be easier to ensure that your kids will survive the season with a healthy smile.
Everyone at Oso Marguerite Dental wants you and your family to have a healthful holiday season and help you protect your children’s teeth every day of the year.