Halloween is back with its spooks and frights! With Halloween’s return comes Mounds of candies. Sugary, chocolatey, sweet, sticky candy. While you’re stocking your house to the brim with candy to give away to the neighborhood kids, your kids are dreaming of ways to stuff as much candy in their mouths as possible.
There are ways to fight the cavities and take back your November month from a multitude of dental appointments for fillings (although we will miss you!). These six steps will get you on your way to a much less stressful end of the year!
1) Be Selective
Certain candies are FAR worse for your teeth than others. Any candy that needs to remain in your mouth for an extended period of time is going to be much worse for you. The increased exposure of the sugar on your teeth (as well as the additional sugar created when saliva dissolves the outermost layers) react with the bacteria in your mouth and cause decay. Hard candies and chewy candies are the worst things you could have or let your kids have. That means most chocolates, candy bars, and small candies like smarties are the way to go.
2) Regulate Candy Eating Times
If your kid is going to have two candy bars, it’s best to have them at the same time as opposed to throughout the day. This limits the amount of time that sugar is in contact with your child’s teeth and also helps them to associate eating candy with a specific time and duration. You can train them to know, “At 6-o’clock I’m going to eat a snickers bar.”, instead of letting them graze on candy from 5-7.
3) Teach Children about Moderation
Moderation goes hand-in-hand with Number 2, teach kids early that too many sweets are bad for them! Tooth decay, upset stomachs, and toothaches are all possible when you eat too many sweets. Teach them early, and it’ll stick!
4) Establish a Candy Bank
Like the banker in monopoly, you control the supply of candy to the children. Don’t let them take what they want when they want it, but allow them to make “withdrawals” of their choice when it’s time for snacks to be had.
As the banker, you also have unrestricted access to the cash flow of the game. We’re not saying to cheat and take some candy when no one is looking, but hey, who’s going to notice?
5) Trick or Treat on a full stomach
“Never go shopping on an empty stomach.” This adage has helped our bank accounts for years, so why not extend the same logic to trick or treating? This will help cut down on snacking as the kids make their trip around the neighborhood.
6) Use Flouride and Brush Those Teeth!
Fluoride can dramatically reduce the damage caused by tooth decay. Most commonly fluoride is fun in fluoridated toothpaste and within regulated water supplies. Children should brush their teeth twice a day for at least 2 minutes with a pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste and rinse with a fluoridated mouth rinse. You can also talk to your dentist about fluoride treatments in office!
Enjoy Halloween this year! Don’t be afraid to let your kids have candy, just make sure it’s well regulated, and they don’t gorge themselves on all the good treats! If you have any more questions or are interested in our in-house dental plan made just for families, Click here!