The countdown to Halloween has begun. This year, the much-anticipated occasion falls on a school night, but that’s never stopped the ghouls and goblins from filling their sacks with sweets. Get ready moms and dads – it’s time to do some damage control.
Here are 5 helpful tips to minimize the candy craze, sparing the little ones’ teeth from the threat of plaque build-up caused by sugar-feeding bacteria:
- Audit the Stash. Much as they’d love to hide their candy stashes beneath beds or pillows, and have lollipops or Sweet Tarts whenever the craving hits, such easy access just won’t do. Many parents keep or donate half or more of the sweets, particularly sour or sticky varieties that do the most damage to the chompers. Our Halloween Candy Buyback is a fun way to donate every year.
- Brushing Patrol. Try striking a bargain with them in exchange for the remainder of the candy. It’s theirs, so long as they brush their teeth immediately after they’ve enjoyed a few pieces.
- Encourage hydration. Water is your friend, particularly if it’s from the tap. This healthy beverage helps wash away the sugar while satisfying the kids’ thirst. It’s a good idea not to rinse sugar with sugar, so we advise a strike on soda, juice, and sports drinks in favor of H2O.
- Offer Balanced Meals. If not, they’ll be more than happy to have M&Ms for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While providing essential nourishment, food requires chewing that increases saliva production – another weapon in your arsenal against tooth decay.
- Fight Candy with Candy. This is one tip they won’t debate on. Sugar-free gum with xylitol may be used as a tool to help remove sugars from the surface of teeth and reduce bacteria production. Chew away!
If you forgot to keep your child’s last six-month check-up, now’s a good time to get back on track with a call to our friendly staff. And remember, the less time candy spends in the mouth, the better. Studies show there’s more harm to the teeth in eating small amounts of candy over time than in having lots of candy all at once.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!