It’s almost Halloween, which means your kids – and maybe you – will soon be diving into buckets of candy. As a dentist, I know how hard it can be to balance letting kids enjoy their Halloween treats while also keeping their teeth in great shape.
Fortunately, there are several good ways to lessen the impact of all that candy on your family’s smiles. Check out our top five tips to help your kids have a fun but cavity-free Halloween:
- Choose Treats Wisely – When out shopping for Halloween candy, read nutrition labels and avoid candies that are sticky and high in sugar, like taffy and gummies. Opt for chocolates and other candies that can be easily washed away with water or brushing.
- Limit Candy Consumption – Allow your kids to choose a few of their favorite treats to eat on Halloween night, then ration out the rest over the next few days or weeks. Keep them out of sight to avoid temptation. Avoid mindless snacking directly from the candy bucket.
- Practice Good Brushing – Make sure your kids brush for two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Help or supervise brushing for young children. They should brush especially well before bed to clear away any sugary food debris and prevent cavities.
- Skip Sticky Treats – Avoid gooey candies that adhere to dental surfaces and are hard to fully dislodge with brushing. Sticky candy allows more time for cavity-causing bacteria to thrive.
- Offer Healthier Options – Provide nutritious snacks like fruits, vegetables, nuts, popcorn or sugar-free gum to help satisfy your kids so they eat less candy. If serving popcorn, caution them not to crunch down on hard kernels.
With some care and moderation, you can let your kids enjoy the Halloween excitement without wreaking havoc on their teeth.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!