Halloween Tips From Our Family Dentists
By now, you and your little ones may already have your plans for Halloween. Whether you are dressing up to go trick-or-treating or you are going to a kid-friendly event in the community, you can count on one thing — lots and lots of candy!
We don’t want to discourage anyone from having fun. We hope you have a great night.
But we also want you and the rest of our patients in Snellville, GA, to still be smiling when Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year arrives.
Below we are sharing some tips from the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry so you don’t let the “mouth monsters” rob you of your smile.
If you don’t, the results could be SCARY!
Make A Plan For What To Do With Your Candy
We hope you to have plenty of reasons to smile this Halloween and for many Halloweens to come. To do that, you need to protect your teeth.
No one is going to tell you that your kids can’t eat any candy. Instead, we would encourage you to sit down with your children before you put on your costumes to discuss what they will do with this year’s candy haul.
In our experience, many children come back home with much more candy than they can eat. For that reason, you may want to discuss a limit on how much candy they will be able to keep at the end of the night.
Talk to your kids about how much candy is reasonable to eat each day and include them in the decision about how much candy they will keep. This way they can enjoy some candy for days after the big night without eating too much at one time.
Another idea is to discuss ways your kids can use their candy to help other people. For example, Operation Gratitude accepts candy donations to include in care packages for military members serving overseas.
Also, many Ronald McDonald Houses accept unopened candy for children who aren’t able to go trick-or-treating. Before sending any candy, we do encourage you to contact a location to find out if they accept candy donations.
If your kids know their candy will be helping someone else, they may be more willing to share what they receive. (Plus the less candy in your house reduces the temptation for you to eat some, too!)
Enjoy Your Candy And Keep Your Smile, Too!
Again, we don’t want to be unrealistic. We are pretty sure your kids will want to eat Halloween candy. When they (or you) do eat some of it, here are some suggestions for preventing cavities and tooth decay.
Don’t eat too much candy. This may go without saying but the more candy you eat, the more chances exist for sugars to get caught in your teeth. Bacteria that cause cavities feed on those sugars.
Try to avoid gummy or sticky candies. Things like bubble gum, caramels, and gummies are more likely to stick to your teeth. These kinds of sweets also can be more difficult to remove, which is good for the bacteria that feed on sugars.
Eat sweets after meals. After a meal, your mouth has already been produced saliva. This can help keep smaller pieces of candy from getting stuck in your teeth.
Drink water when you eat sweets. Drinking water is good for you, and it can help rinse away sugary residue before it gets caught in your smile.
Brush and floss your teeth after eating sweets. The sooner your kids clean their teeth after eating snacks, the less chance there is for bacteria to feed on the sugars.
It’s also true that some snacks are less harmful than others. Dark chocolate still has sugars, but it also has ingredients that can prevent bacteria from sticking to teeth.
Chewing sugar-free gum with xylitol can be good for another reason. This promotes the growth of a different kind of bacteria that makes it harder for plaque to form on your teeth.
Have A Happy Halloween
We hope you and your loved ones enjoy a safe and happy Halloween. We also would love for you to visit us afterward to tell us about all the fun things that you did in and around Snellville.