parenting

How to Protect Your Child’s Teeth this Halloween?

In just a couple short weeks it will be Halloween night. It’s every kid’s dream to dress up as their favorite character and get buckets of free candy. Score! But it’s not exactly every parents’ ideal night.

It can be stressful to get the kids dressed up and then walk around the neighborhood with them all night, or, even if they go by themselves, you’ll stress about them being okay. Besides the stress of Halloween day, there’s also the Halloween aftermath–rotten jack-o-lanterns, discarded candy wrappers, stubborn dried face paint, and loads of cavities. The sugary nature of Halloween and the late-night candy binging make Halloween a nightmare on teeth. Here are four ways to save your kid’s teeth from rotting out this Halloween.

Brush Their Teeth

The most obvious, and very vital, way to prevent cavities is to brush and floss your children’s teeth. Even though trick-or-treating might make your kiddos come home late and tired, don’t skip out on brushing their teeth.

For the week following Halloween, it’s especially important for your kids to brush and floss every single night because of their sugar intake spikes. Brushing and flossing can be your biggest tool to fight off those extra “sugar bugs” your kids ate for Halloween.

Moderate Their Candy Intake

Another trick to help keep your children’s teeth safe from cavities is to moderate the amount of candy your kids get to eat each day. Kids will be tempted to pig-out on their candy the moment they get home from trick-or-treating, or even while they are out trick-or-treating, but letting kids eat a ton of candy all at once will damage their teeth and hurt their stomachs.

Your kids might protest when you tell them it’s time to put the Snicker bars and AirHeads away, but their healthy teeth and happy stomach will thank you later.

Avoid the Damaging Candy

Some candies do more damage than others. Sticky caramels and long-lasting suckers are infamous for being cavity causers. The sticky candies, like caramel, grab onto the teeth and their damaging sugars stick to the teeth longer than foods like fast-melting chocolate. Suckers and sucker-like candies, like Jolly Ranchers, fill the mouth with sugary saliva for extended periods of time. This sugary saliva has plenty of time to do some serious damage to the pearly whites in your child’s mouth.

When your children come home from trick-or-treating and dump our trick-or-treat bags to display their candy loot, take a second to decide which candies they get to keep and which candies should be taken away. A few sticky candies or suckers are okay, as long as your children wash their teeth soon after eating them.

Try a Candy Alternative

It’s not surprising that many parents don’t enjoy the sugar buzz and cavities their children get from trick-or-treating. This Halloween, try some Halloween treat alternatives with your family instead of letting your kids binge-eat their trick-or-treat candy. Sugar-free gum, spooky oranges, or even non-edible toys are great Halloween treat alternatives. The kids always love getting glow-sticks too.

This Halloween, save yourself the horror of paying for those Halloween candy cavities by religiously brushing and flossing your children’s teeth, limiting their candy intake, avoiding the candies that do the greatest damage to teeth or trying some alternative to candy.

How do you help protect your child’s teeth after a night of Trick or Treating?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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14 Comments

  1. We do eat a lot of candy for Halloween. I don’t do alternatives because quite frankly, I want the Reese’s. But we brush our teeth. Plus floss. And we use the mouth wash.

  2. My kiddo is going to the Dentist a week before halloween so at least he will start out clean! 🙂 These are some great tips!

  3. My daughter has a dental appointment on the 22, so I am sure they are going to give her a big reminder to take care of those teeth with all the treats that are about to come her way. I am really vigilant about making sure she’s brushing, flossing and using a rinse every night before bed, especially during sweets season!

  4. Great tips! I have always told my son to drink plenty of water and brush his teeth after he eats sweets.

  5. This is so important. You only get one set and once they’re gone they’re gone. It’s horrible wearing dentures.

  6. It’s crazy how much candy kids get their hands on this season, so it’s really important to take good care of their teeth. These are very good pointers for parents!

  7. I love Halloween and it’s always fun to see the kids dress up and go trick or treating, but you’re totally right about how damaging candy is for their teeth. These are important things that we should all take note of as parents! Their dental health is a priority.

  8. Good thinking to remind the kids about proper hygiene — more so after eating all that Halloween candy! I’ll be sure to pass this along.

  9. Our boys eat way too much candy around Halloween. We just had to limit the amount we set aside for ourselves vs the ones we’re giving away for Halloween.

  10. I think these are all great ideas. When I take my kids out trick or treating, we usually just go down a couple streets and that’s it. They don’t need a whole lot of candy, and we watch the intake as well.

  11. Ruth I says:

    Great tips! My niece always has a lot of candy after halloween. We limit her candy to max 5 pieces each day.

  12. Catalina says:

    These are tips that any parent should use for every holiday. Our kid’s teeth health is so important. And we should explain this to our kid every time there is a holiday.

  13. It’s a tough time of year with all those sweets and candy! Definitely good to keep up with the dental hygiene.

  14. These are great tips for keeping kids’ (and adults’) teeth healthy, especially around Halloween.

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