Halloween Candy | Dental Health
October 27, 2014
It’s the time of the year when the neighborhood yards are being transformed into ghostly graveyards, the newly fallen leaves are being stuffed into pumpkin-themed lawn bags, and freshly carved jack-o-lanterns are beginning to light up the evening. That’s right, Halloween is almost here, and if you have children at home you have likely been reminded of the impending holiday countless times already!
While some of the fun and excitement of Halloween for children revolves around choosing the perfect costume, albeit the end goal always seems to focus more on oversized bags of candy filled to the brim from trick-or-treating. While there is no harm in allowing children to enjoy spirit and excitement of Halloween, it is important to help them understand the importance of moderation when it comes to sugary snacks as well as the importance of proper oral care after enjoying their Halloween spoils!
Here are a few tips that you can use to help your children safely enjoy their Halloween treats this year!
#1) Inspect all treats thoroughly before eating
As parents, the health and safety of our children is always a primary concern. Before you allow your children to dig in to their bag of goodies, it is important to spread out the treats that they have collected and inspect them thoroughly before eating. Immediately discard any treats with open or damaged wrappers. Homemade treats such as popcorn balls, candy apples, or other non-commercial goodies should only be consumed if they come from a well-known and trusted neighbor or friend.
#2) Remove any candy that is not age-appropriate for your child
While inspecting your children’s Halloween candy, take special care to remove any treats that may not be suitable for your child or your child’s oral health. For small children this may include gum, hard or chewy treats such as taffy, and large suckers. Jawbreakers are another treat that is best removed as they can lead to increased enamel wear and chipped/cracked teeth.
3) Set limits
Some children view Halloween as a once-a-year “shopping spree” and take special care to conserve and ration their cache for months of enjoyment; however, not all children maintain this same level of self-control. Set limits to the amount and frequency of Halloween candy that your children can have in day and stick to it.
4) Encourage proper oral health care after eating treats
While there is nothing wrong with enjoying a sweet treat from time to time, care should be taken to remove the residue left behind by treats that can continue to cause damage long after the treat is gone. Hard candies and extremely chewy candies often leave behind pieces in the cracks and grooves of tooth surfaces. These slowly dissolving remains can quickly lead to the bacteria responsible for damaging tooth enamel opening the door for future cavities.
Halloween candy can take quite the toll on your child’s dental health, but we believe that following these simple tips will help your children safely enjoy their Halloween treats without the need to schedule a thorough dental cleaning the next day! For more information on ways to encourage proper dental health car with your children, contact Dakota Family Dentistry at 605-352-6999.
Last Modified: 10/27/2014 8:54:06 am MDT