Halloween is just around the corner, and you know what that means: Halloween candy. It’s hard to believe all the hard work you’ve put into teaching your kids healthy habits can be overturned in one sugar-infused night, but one sugar bender is all it takes to make kids forget about their healthy foods. To ease the pain that can come with Halloween candy, we’ve come up with a list to help you minimize the damage inflicted on your kids’ teeth this year:
Consider a “Buy-Back” Program
Have your children hand over the sweets in exchange for something else they want, whether it’s money or some toys. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. You can use toys from the dollar store, or you and your child can negotiate how much each piece of candy is worth to them.
You might also want to consider swapping out their candy for sugar-free alternatives, whether they’re sugar-free hard candies, sugar-free gum, or snack-sized bags of pretzels, chips, crackers, or trail mix. Anything that makes it worthwhile to the kids for them to hand over their precious Halloween candy.
Make a Candy Plan
Decide before you leave to go trick-or-treating what you’re going to do with all that candy and talk it over with your kids to make sure they’re included in the process. You can agree ahead of time that you’ll only knock on a certain number of doors, or you can give your children smaller bags to fill and agree that, once it’s full, it’s time to go home.
You can also talk to your children about spacing out the candy, instead of eating it all at once. They can hand it over to you and you can act as a kind of candy bank that makes payments only a certain number of times per day or per week. This not only helps protect your children’s teeth and bodies from this holiday, but teaches them good habits about limiting the amount of sugar they consume that, hopefully, they’ll maintain for the rest of their lives.
Remind Them to Practice Good Oral Hygiene
No matter what your plan, remember that there is no safe amount of candy for your children’s teeth. No matter how much they eat, they should always be practicing good oral hygiene – but it’s especially important to remember to brush and floss after having eaten candy. Go over the basics of oral hygiene with your kids again and remind them how important it is to brush away the sugar, and to floss carefully to make sure no sticky pieces of candy are lurking between their teeth.
And, of course, you should never forget that regular dental checkups are a must for both you and your little ones. Even if you’re all doing everything you can to fight the effects of sugar, it’s always a good idea to have a professional look over your work to make sure you’re getting the results you want and to give you extra tips for protecting your mouth.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, you must take care of them. At Simply Smiles Dentistry, we can show you how to properly care for your teeth. You will have a great smile that lasts a lifetime.
Until next time…Keep on Smiling!