While your children may be excited to eat Halloween candy this year, you don’t necessarily have to cut them off entirely to ensure they don’t get any cavities. The key to preventing dental disease, despite candy being available everywhere (especially for free), is moderation and strong oral care routines. According to a family dentist in Frisco, here are the three best tips for ensuring your child does not finish their Halloween celebration with a mouth full of tooth decay before the new year.
Make Sure They Practice Oral Care After Indulging
After your child has already finished trick-or-treating, you’ll need to make sure that they are practicing consistent brushing and flossing, especially right after they finish eating their treats. Both chocolate and sticky forms of candy (i.e. gummies, taffy, etc.,) can easily remain on teeth for hours at a time, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
Remind your child about the best oral care techniques for them to practice. This includes timing themselves to ensure they are brushing for at least two minutes at a time. Show them how to brush their teeth at a 45-degree angle and use gentle back-and-forth strokes while doing so. If your child is particularly young, they will need constant help and supervision.
Develop Rules Prior to Trick-or-Treating
Preparing a set of rules ahead of time is a great way to prevent your child from eating too much candy. A few rules to consider include:
- Bring your child home after their candy bag or container is full. This way, you can control the size of the container and the amount candy.
- Setting the number of houses they can visit before they need to come home. In this case, you’ll either need to join them during their trick-or-treating or have another sibling or family friend with a cell phone chaperoning them.
- Only allowing them to have a single piece of candy at a time, rather than letting them eat multiple candies in a single sitting.
Regardless of what rules you establish, you’ll want to remind them of what you decided before they head out, so they know what to expect.
Make a Compromise with a Candy Swap
A candy swap is a great way to ensure your child does not overeat Halloween candy despite allowing them to trick-or-treat. Once your child finishes getting their bag of candy, they can opt to exchange it for something else, such as a new toy they have been wanting for a long time. This way, everyone wins!
Dentists are always happy to take Halloween candy to help your child protect their oral health moving forward. In fact, many dental offices will perform candy buybacks, which allows young children to trade in their candy for a fun prize or toy. Of course, keeping these tips in mind can help quite a bit as well, ensuring your child finishes Halloween without any cavities.
About the Author
Dr. Brett Amedro earned his dental degree from the University of Michigan and has since completed a post-graduate residency program in general dentistry at the Veteran’s Hospital of Denver. He has expertise in a wide variety of dental services, and he’s always happy to help young patients learn the best at-home oral care tips and ensure they feel comfortable during routine visits. To learn more about his office or schedule your child’s next checkup, you can contact him through his website.