Halloween & YOUR teeth
Children’s Halloween dream – to get “LOTS” of candy – can be their parent’s nightmare. Halloween can be a time to teach your children good oral health habits for life, without depriving them of Halloween treats (think moderation).
Here are five best tricks for healthy teeth:
1. Halloween Candy vs. Cavities: Dont make kids choose
Please do not deny your children the Halloween experience… that can send the wrong message – deprevation – and make candy seem even more irresitable, leading to other problems.
- Sneaking treats
- eating too much candy
Instead, let them have the joy of Halloween in all its sticky goodness. After, go through their bags of Halloween candy together. Tell them to each pick the 10 or so (or whatever number you decide, based on factors such as age) treats they want the most.
Get the unpicked treats out of sight.
- Donate them to the food bank
- Freeze them
- Throw them out
Remember the message isn’t that “candy is bad”, but that candy and other sweets, in excess, can lead to cavities.
2. Preventing cavities in children: Set a treat time
With you child, set a time of day to eat Halloween candy. This ritual “treat time” may last long after Halloween and help promote healthy thinking about treats:
- Children learn that eating sweets shouldn’t be an all-day fest… Moderation is key.
- Knowing they have a specific sweet time can help children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day.
3. Children’s oral health: Set up a teeth brushing schedule
No matter when treat time is; it is crucial to brush soon after. If it is nighttime, for example, brushing and flossing teeth before bed will help sweep away the recent sweets. Fluoride mouth rinses for kids also help prevent tooth decay.
4. Use disclosing tablets
These chewable tablets temporarily stain the plaque that builds up on teeth. Parents can use disclosing tablets to show children how well they are brushing or flossing their teeth… especially if they already have a cavity or two.
5. Keep brushing fun!
You should replace toothbrushes every three or four months anyway, so make Halloween an occation for getting your child a new brush. When children like their toothbrushes, they are more apt to enjoy brushing their teeth. Children can choose from a variety of kid-sized brushes that feature their favourite cartoon character, or colouful design. Young children typically can’t wait to use a new toothbrush.
Children also like to pick out their own toothpaste.
Check the condition of your child’s toothbrush from time to time…if it doesn’t look worn after weeks of use then they may not be brushing well.
Most importantly we would like to wish you a happy and safe Halloween!