Dental Tips For Halloween

July 2, 2019 Mitten Kids Dentistry

Halloween Candy Pediatric Dentists Grand Rapids, MI

It’s that time of year again! Kids are excited to dress up, go door to door trick-or-treating to get lots of candy.

Did you know Americans spend over $2 billion on Halloween candy a year? That’s over 600 million pounds of candy! While the majority of the candy is not for themselves, but other people’s children, candy is all over the place around this time of year.

If your children are part of the 40+ million trick-or-treaters come October 31, they’ll likely come home with enough candy for your entire household to last several months.

Protecting Teeth During Halloween

Here are a few great tips and “tricks” from Dr. Brett, Dr. Grady, and Dr. Alex, at Mitten Kids Dentistry in Grand Rapids, MI, to ensure that your child enjoys a healthy Halloween, and has healthy teeth now and in the future.

1.)   Hold onto the bag

If your kid keeps the bag of candy, good luck trying to control how much candy they’ll eat. The solution? You hold onto it and keep it in a place where they can’t access it. You’re the boss and in control! Inform your child of this prior to trick-or-treating, so they know the ground rules.

2.)   Moderation is key

After trick-or-treating, set a specific treat time with your child for when they can eat a treat. Limit this to 1-2 treats per day. A child doesn’t need more than this. Clear rules make it better for everyone. 

  It’s more harmful to eat candy or drink sugary beverages throughout the day, as this is constantly putting sugar in their mouth. Having a treat after a meal or snack is better. When children eat candy throughout the day, it’s more likely they’ll get cavities.

3.)   Avoid the biggest culprits

We all know some candy is worse than others. Examples of these include candy with very high sugar content, sticky candy, gooey candy, taffy, lollipops, and gummy candy. Sticky candy clings to teeth, as it takes longer for saliva to wash it away, and thus increasing the risk for cavities. Treats that are less harmful to teeth include chocolate, sugar-free gum, and pretzels.

4.)   Talk about healthy eating and good oral hygiene

Your child will likely ask many questions about why you have set rules for eating candy. This is a great time to talk about candy, brushing their teeth, and eating healthy! Candy has ‘sugar bugs’ in it, which can hurt your teeth and cause cavities. Brushing and not eating candy helps prevent cavities and keeps teeth strong and healthy. Keep it simple!

5.)   Give it away

Your child doesn’t need all that candy. And let’s be honest – you don’t either! What to do with the extra? You can give it away. Have your child decide and be involved, it can be a fun, educational experience for them as well! You can bring it to a local charity, mission, church, or school.

6.) Switch the candy with sugar-free options

You can also replace the candy your child got with sugar-free candy-like chewing gum, licorice, chocolate, or other options. If you have a hard time finding good replacements, candy with less sugar is better for your teeth than candy with a lot of sugar.

Some sugar-free foods have benefits for your teeth other than no sugar. For example, sugar-free gum stimulates saliva production and can help dislodge food particles stuck between your teeth.

7.) Non-candy treats

Just because it’s Halloween doesn’t mean you have to give out candy. You could give away tooth-friendly treats that aren’t edible. Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss are common, but you could also give away Halloween-themed pencils/pens, small toys, water bottles, small pretzel bags, and more.

Schedule an Appointment

Dr. Brett, Dr. Grady, and Dr. Alex and their staff at Mitten Kids Dentistry in Grand Rapids, MI want you and your families to enjoy this time of year! We also want our patients to learn how to properly care for their teeth, have healthy eating habits, and have smiles they can be proud of for years to come!

Related Blog Posts

How to Have a Tooth-Friendly Halloween

Dental Hygiene Tips for Toddlers

How Your Child’s Diet Can Affect Their Teeth

This blog post has been updated.

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