It’s almost time for Trick-or-Treating! Our tips can help you keep your kids’ teeth healthy, even with all that extra candy in the house.
Every child knows that Halloween means it’s time for candy. Every dentist knows that sugar causes tooth decay.
What is a responsible parent to do?
There are ways to let your kids have fun and also help protect their teeth. Here are five tricks for dealing with those Halloween treats.
If you’re buying candy to give out, avoid hard or sticky candies. If your children get these from other people, maybe offer to trade them out. These candies keep sugar on the teeth for a long time. Chocolate is a better choice because it breaks down quickly.
Limit candy snacks throughout the day
If kids are constantly snacking on candy, the sugar stays on their teeth all day. The best time to let them eat candy is right after a meal. The increased saliva in their mouth helps wash away the sugar.
Have them drink water
This will help them rinse their teeth (and it’s good for a variety of other reasons, too). And have them stay away from soda or other sugary drinks. These are another kind of sugary “candy.”
Don’t have them brush right away
This might be a surprise, but children shouldn’t brush their teeth right after eating candy. The enamel on their teeth needs time to recover. Have them wait 30 minutes to brush their teeth. That means no candy right before bed!
Remember sugarless gum
Sugarless gum is a great “substitute” for candy. It also helps to clean up teeth after a meal.
Of course, it isn’t just about teeth. Candy poses other health risks, so it’s important to always be aware of how much your kids are eating. Be ready to impose limits. If you have specific concerns, talk to your child’s doctor.
We wish you all a safe and happy Halloween!
- Choose your candy wisely from WebMD
- 5 ways to help your child eat healthy meals video from Healthwise
- Healthiest Sweet Snacks from WebMD
- Apple Health Dental Benefits for Kids
- Find a dentist