What’s the only thing scarier than the zombies, witches, and ghosts you may encounter this Halloween? The sticky, sugary candy that your kids will bring home, ensuring cavities and tooth decay for the whole family! The horror!
All joking aside, Halloween is a great opportunity to teach your kids how to prevent cavities and make healthy decisions, without prohibiting all Halloween candy and stifling the fun of this spooky season. Here are four tips that can help keep your kids cavity-free while also enjoying their Halloween treats.
1. BRUSH BRUSH BRUSH!
It goes without saying that it is very important for your kids to be brushing their teeth regularly, but when they eat candy it is even more important. Get your kids in the habit of brushing their teeth every time they eat a piece of candy, or at the very least rinsing with water to wash away the sugars that can so quickly cause cavities. Consider buying your kids a new toothbrush and sticking it in their Halloween bag to generate some excitement about brushing more often.
2. Make even healthier choices throughout the day.
If you know your kids will be eating their Halloween candy for the next few days, have them stick to drinking water only. Not only do other drinks such as soda, juice, and sports drinks contribute to tooth decay, but water is actually good for their teeth and can help prevent cavities! In addition, be diligent about giving your kids healthy snacks with very little sugar throughout the day since you know they will be eating candy. Snacks such as carrots, celery, apples, cheese, and nuts are great low-sugar snacks that can actually do the teeth some good.
3. Consider Candy Alternatives.
Because you know your kids will be getting candy at most houses on Halloween night, consider being the house that gives a candy alternative. Because kids will receive so much candy, you may be surprised how excited they will be to get something different such as stickers, temporary tattoos, bouncy balls, or other little trinkets or toys.
4. Call it quits.
For both your dental health and your physical health, it is not a good idea to keep a ton of candy around for weeks and weeks. Talk to your kids ahead of time and come up with a plan, whether it be letting them choose a certain amount of candy or giving them a designated amount of time before you will get rid of it. You might also consider having them carry a smaller bag around as they Trick-or-Treat to limit the amount of candy they can bring home. Some parents find it helpful to come up with a candy swap where your kids can trade in their candy for a toy they have been wanting or an activity they have wanted to try. Remember, a little candy from time to time is ok, but like most things, moderation is key.