Halloween is on its way! And while the festivities are certainly fun, the team at Burlingame Dental Arts often finds that we’re fielding a lot of questions from concerned parents about how to moderate the phenomenal influx of candy consumption that Halloween brings.
Before we go too far, your dentists in Portland OR, Dr. De Graff, just want to say: kids will be kids. When it comes to Halloween, don’t stand between your small ghouls and goblins and their sticky, sweet good times. Our job as parents is to help create an environment of moderation.
That said, here are some tips for maintaining dental health over the Halloween holiday!
Be choosy about your candy
Not all sweets are created equal: hard or sticky candies get stuck on teeth or take longer to eat, lengthening your child’s exposure to sugar. Chocolate and other candies that “melt” in your mouth are a better option because once they’re gone– they’re gone.
Eat candy at meal time
But not as the bulk of the meal, as your child may suggest! The truth is if your child eats candy, say, as a dessert after a meal– he or she is taking advantage of the increased saliva production that takes place while eating. The higher amount of saliva works to wash sugars and acids from candy out of the mouth before they can do damage.
Water is your best friend
Encourage your child to drink plenty of water at all times of day. Just like saliva, water works to wash food particles and sugars out of the mouth before bacteria can use them to do their evil work on your child’s teeth. In addition, water is the best way to stay hydrated (far better for your child than “energy drinks”) and is an important part of general health.
Keep eating healthy
Sometimes during holidays, we can get a little carried away by the festivities and forget that our bodies can’t run on caramel apples and candy corn alone. It is especially important during the elevated sugar consumption of Halloween to maintain a healthy diet for every meal and snack. This not only protects your child’s immune system by keeping his or her body healthy, but a good meal leaves less room for candy!
Emphasize oral health
Chances are, your kids is going to indulge in candy now and then. Halloween is an opportunity to show him or her how to indulge in moderation, and how oral hygiene is tied to such indulgences. Teach your child the importance of brushing and flossing after eating sugary foods, and be sure to stay up-to-date with his or her dental appointments at Burlingame Dental Arts.
Got any tricks of your own?
At Burlingame, we love to seize any opportunity to teach our small patients about oral health in a way that’s fun and accessible to them– that’s why we think Halloween is such a great holiday! What tricks do you use for healthy trick-or-treating? Please share them with us at your or your child’s next appointment!