Any day now we’ll be putting on funny costumes, acting a little crazy and eating all kinds of stuff that we shouldn’t. And that’s just the adults! For kids, Halloween can be a fantastic time to have fun and be creative. But unfortunately when all those sticky sugary candies are involved, it can be a dental disaster.
The good news is, Halloween and dental health can mix if you just take a few simple precautions. Here are our suggestions to make Halloween 2010 a success without the cavities!
Let you kids know that even though they may come home with a sack full of goodies, there still are some rules to let them both enjoy the treats and keep their bodies healthy.
1) Don’t allow them to overeat. A few pieces of candy each day for a few days is much better than an all-out engorgement. And if they bring home hundreds of pieces, everyone can feel good about donating much of it to a local food bank.
2) Avoid the really “sticky” stuff like taffy and caramel corn. This is difficult to remove from the tooth surfaces and can actually damage teeth permanently.
3) Make sure that your kids are brushing three times per day for at least one minute per session. Before bed and after eating candy are “must-brush” times.
4) Encourage flossing to remove the sticky stuff from between the teeth. If you or your kids aren’t sure how to properly floss, we will gladly give you a lesson! It’s very easy to do once you know how.
5) Have your kids use a fluoride rinse before bedtime. If you’re not sure which is the right one for your child’s age, please ask us.
6) If your children will be eating candy as they are out trick-or-treating, make sure that they take a small bottle or container of water with them. Rinsing and swishing or even taking small sips of water right after eating candy can prevent things from sticking.
Have you considered taking a different route than giving out traditional candy when your doorbell rings? Not only will you differentiate yourself from everyone else on the block, you will be helping your community’s dental heath! Here are a few suggestions from about.com for things to give out other than candy:
· Sugar-free gum
· Vampire teeth
· Halloween stickers
· Party favor sunglasses
· Small cans of PlayDoh
· Pencils with Halloween erasers
· Halloween bouncy balls
· Temporary tattoos
· Small bottles of bubbles
Be creative! The “Dollar Store” is typically full of fun stuff that kids will love without rotting their teeth.
So have fun, enjoy this great time with your family, and do something scary – as long as it doesn’t involve giving kid’s cavities!
If you have any questions about how to keep your teeth or your children’s teeth healthy during Halloween or any other time, feel free to give us a call at 703-729-1400. We’re here to help you!!