Halloween has kids dreaming of bags of sweet candy and parents having nightmares of cavities and high dental bills. With a bit of planning, everyone can be happy as Halloween arrives and passes.
Limit the amount of candy your child eats each day
Don’t just allow free reign to the candy bag. Determine an appropriate amount in advance and stick to it. You may even find kids losing interest in the candy after the novelty wears off in a day or two.
Monitor the timing
Allowing candy directly after meals is the best time. Saliva production is high at this point and will help wash some of the sugars away from tooth enamel.
Make sure they brush and floss
Enforce the rule of brushing and flossing after each snack. This will help keep teeth free of standing sugar. Make sure you teach your child the correct way to brush and floss so they feel confident. There are many themed toothbrushes and flavored flosses that make the experience fun.
Teach them the joy of sharing
“This year, Plaza Dental will be participating in the Halloween Candy BuyBack where kids will be paid a dollar for every pound of candy they donate. All candy donated will be sent to the troops overseas,” said Dr. Steffany Mohan. Explain the concept of people having less and help your kids experience the joy that comes from sharing their candy with others and make some extra money doing so. Here is more info on our Halloween Candy BuyBack:
Eliminate the worst culprits
Hard candy, caramels, and other chewy treats cause more damage to the teeth than softer candies. Try getting rid of the worst culprits if possible.
Work out a system of trading with your kids. Have small prizes they can trade their candy for. Small toys, a trip to the zoo or children’s museum, a favorite meal – all of these make good trades and will have the kids looking forward to giving up their candy.
Taking time to set down a few rules in advance can have your children enjoying their Halloween stash while providing you with the security of knowing you are doing everything possible to prevent unwanted cavities. Everyone wins!