Have a Healthy Halloween!

Halloween is rapidly approaching, and you know what that means: candy galore!  This is the holiday that literally sends children out to collect as much candy as they can possibly get.  How can you manage such a smorgasbord of sweets?

Here are a few tips.

Sort the Candy Stash

There are some types of candy that no one needs to have.  If your little ones are too young to understand that different types of candy have differing effects on your teeth, then you need to sort the candy for them. 

Candy to Keep:  Some candy is okay (none of it is good, but it isn’t all bad).  When we consider which candy might be okay for the teeth, we are looking for those that contain higher levels of fat or protein (as opposed to just straight sugar), and those that will not remain in the mouth for long.  Here are the ones to keep.

  • Chocolates
  • Anything with nuts
  • Crunchy candy that is eaten quickly
  • Any sugar-free candy, especially those containing xylitol

Candy to Toss: You should try to avoid giving your children candies that are solely sugar or may remain in the mouth for a long period of time.  Here are those you should get rid of when your kid is not looking.

  • Lollipops
  • Hard candy
  • Gummies or anything with a gummy texture
  • Caramels or other sticky items

Ration the Candy

Work with your child to decide a fair number of candies to enjoy each day.  Try to have the candy in conjunction with a meal as “dessert”.  When you have a sugary treat with your meal, it has less cavity-causing power.  This is because chewing your food stimulates a large amount of saliva production, and it is the saliva that fights cavities effectively. 

Add Healthy Snacks

Try not to let your child just have candy during the days after Halloween.  Instead, add in healthy snacks, like raw fruit and veggies, nuts and cheese.  These healthy snacks help protect the teeth, and they can counteract the effects of the increased intake of candy.

While it isn’t technically a “snack”, we also strongly recommend drinking only water with the candy.  Adding a soda at this sugar-filled time only increases the risk for cavities.  Drink water to neutralize the pH in the mouth and flush away sugar and bacteria.

Stick to Consistent Oral Hygiene

Now is not the time to slack off on your bedtime routines!  We know your kids may be overly hyper or crash into a state of grumpiness.  You must remain diligent in cleaning their teeth with consistent brushing and flossing.

Do not let your child go to bed without a thorough cleaning of the teeth.  For the best protection, add a fluoride mouthwash for your child to swish and spit after brushing and flossing.  This will provide added protection against candy’s sugar attacks.  (Make sure your child is old enough to spit all of the mouthrinse without swallowing any of it!)

More Questions about How You and Your kids can have a Healthy Halloween?

Call Prosper Family Dentistry at 972-347-1145 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jill, Dr. Cara and Dr. Summer.  They can answer all of your candy questions and help you make healthy choices for the holiday season.

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