How To Scare Away Halloween Candy Cavities
Halloween is more like a season than a holiday. Especially here in Salem. The entire month of October is devoted to spooky surroundings and tasty treats. While we don’t have total control over how our children navigate the amazing adventure of trick or treating, there are some things we can do to inspire them to make mindful choices as they curb their candy cravings.
Here are some tips on how you can scare away Halloween candy cavities and other dental health-related issues as you navigate October in New England:
Of course the full-size candy bars catch eyes, but if you can gently suggest that your child opt for a fun-size bar versus the extra large, that’s a good start. They pack as much of the punch and flavor as the big bars, but have less sugar and calories. And they may even help to prevent upset stomachs… maybe.
Water is key to our oral health. It boasts overall health benefits, but can be especially positive for your mouth and teeth, too. Water rinses away sugars that bind to your teeth and balances out the pH levels in your mouth that sugar can alter.
It seems like a more optimistic way of saying “limit”. But yet, to limit is exactly what we mean. Instead of allowing your child to indulge in their treasure trove of candy throughout the day, try to limit their intake to a couple of pieces post-lunch or dinner.
Avoid the Sticky, Chewy, Sour Stuff
We know, we know… that means a lot of the good stuff. But the “good stuff” is actually more like the “bad stuff” in the long run. Sticky and chewy candies like gummies, caramels and taffy easily cling to your teeth and can be very difficult to remove. Even after brushing and flossing. Since they can lead to tooth decay more rapidly, it’s best to try to minimize consumption of them. Sour candies can be just as detrimental as they contain acid that can cause tooth enamel to break down quickly.
Sugar-Free is the Key
If your child is more into gum than candy, then encourage a sugar-free option. It can help to increase saliva flow, which helps to wash away acids and bacteria present after eating candy. Gum containing xylitol is especially effective because this chemical compound actively blocks the production of decay-causing acid on the teeth.
Avoid Long Lasting Candies
Hard candies and lollipops may taste good and be fun to indulge in, but the reality is that they take a long time to dissolve and can remain in your child’s mouth for an extended period of time. That means that there is plenty of time for sugar to take up residence on the teeth and for bacteria to begin turning that sugar into acid, which will break down tooth enamel.
Brush ASAP after Candy Consumption
It should come as no surprise that brushing teeth is the best way to keep them cavity-free. Have your child brush their teeth 30 minutes after candy consumption to remove the harmful bacteria.
Healthy Halloween Snacks
Dare we say it? Well, I guess we did. That’s right – we can mix healthy options into our Halloween spreads. Check out our post for a tasty list of healthy Halloween snacks for kids.
All this being said, we want children and families to embrace the Halloween spirit and enjoy everything that comes along with this unique holiday! If you find yourself overflowing with candy and you’re ready to reclaim your pantry space, there’s always the option of participating in a Halloween candy buyback program. Happy Haunting!