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.