How Kids Can Enjoy Halloween Candy and Save Their Teeth
You can hardly have failed to notice that the stores are packed full of Halloween candy, Halloween related goodies and costumes. It’s a great American tradition and we probably all have very happy memories of this family oriented holiday, but you’ll find pediatric dentists have a slightly different view! While Dr. Marina Krepkh and all the pediatric dentists here at the Kids Dentistry Center want your child to enjoy Halloween, we’d prefer it wasn’t at the expense of their dental health.
How Much Americans Spend on Halloween Candy
We don’t want to stop anyone from enjoying Halloween, but the fact remains that as a nation we spend an incredible amount on Halloween candy at this time of year. Over the past three years, that annual spend on candy has been in excess of an incredible $2 billion, although apparently these figures can drop slightly if the weather isn’t so good. So is it possible to have a great Halloween without that sugar high?
Try to Replace Candy with Tooth Friendly Foods or Toys
We think it is and if your kid is going out trick or treating this year then why not have a chat with other parents and caregivers to see what they think and how they teach healthy Halloween habits. We know many parents are horrified by the amount of candy the average little trick-or-treater returns with. If you can, it’s a great idea to agree that you will offer something different from the normal Halloween candy treats. There are lots of small items you can buy that will appeal and your local dollar stores are a good place to start. With a bit of imagination it is possible to find good Halloween candy alternatives and healthy Halloween snacks. If you want to offer something edible then you could try satsumas or another sweet fruit, but individually wrapped cheeses can also work well and are good for teeth. However it is still likely that your kid will return with quite a bit of candy so how is it best to approach this problem?
Get Them to Sort out the Candy They Really Enjoy
The reality is that they will eat some candy, so get them to pick out the stuff they really enjoy eating and which is a real treat. Agree with them when they can eat this candy, and preferably not in between meals. It is best if they can have their candy at the end of a main meal. This way their mouth will already be acidic from eating, but they will also be producing more saliva to help wash away those excess sugars and acid. Wait for half an hour or so after they have finished before asking them to brush their teeth. This will help reduce the damage caused by eating candy.
Reach an Agreement on How to Deal with the Remainder
There are a couple of different ways you can deal with the remaining Halloween candy that isn’t their favorite. Some parents agree to buy the candy off their children, and this tactic might be worth trying if you’d prefer they didn’t eat any of the candy collected. This way they can spend the money on something they’d really like. Otherwise you could look around to see if you can donate it to a local food bank or another charity.
Kids Best Dentist Brooklyn NYC
Dr. Marina Krepkh
7708 4th Avenue 1st floor
Brooklyn, NY 11209 (Bay Ridge)