19 Oct How to Protect Kids’ Teeth from Sugar Overload this Halloween
Halloween is here and it’s time for costumes, parties, and loads of candy. The saying “trick or treat” is more of a greeting these days as candy buckets are filled with sweets of all types. Children compare their stash and bargain to swamp for their favorites. What is the best way for parents to allow their children to celebrate while protecting teeth from sugar overload? We’ve got some simple dos and don’ts to make your Halloween festive and fun.
ALL IN MODERATION
Halloween is meant to be a time for laughter, creative imaginations with costumes, and walking door-to-door with your besties. The fact is cavities do not develop in a single night, but over time. The best way to allow your children to enjoy this festive occasion is quite simply moderation.
Limit the Amount – Set a limit to how many pieces of candy can be eaten then parcel it out each day as a special treat.
Pick Your Favorites – A full candy bucket can last a year. To limit total consumption, have your child pick out their very favorites and then throw out or store the remaining sweets for later.
Eat First – Serve dinner before trick or treating so stomachs are full and less tempted to eat all their candy at once.
Pair with Healthy Food – Create healthy eating habits by promoting healthy foods first. Invite children to pick out a piece of fruit or vegetable and pair it with a sweet treat to follow.
Keeping candy strictly off-limits can have a negative affect with binging and hiding treats to eat when the parent is not looking. Allow your little goblin to enjoy the moment without any guilt for a little indulgence.
CANDY AND YOUR TEETH
What is Halloween without those decadent sweets and delicious eats! Enjoy a favorite candy bar or special treat to celebrate. When choosing a sugary goody, some candies are less impactful on teeth than others. Here are some simple Do’s and Don’ts of candy collecting:
- Chocolate: this favorite handout is easier to brush off teeth. Choose dark chocolate for its antioxidant properties.
- Sugar-Free: Sugar feeds cavity-causing bacteria so consider filling buckets with sugar-free options instead.
- Nuts: packed with fiber and protein, nuts are great for snacking.
- Hard Candy: one wrong crunch can result in a chipped or cracked tooth.
- Gummies: chewy candies like gummies and taffy stick to teeth and is harder to remove than softer candies like chocolate.
- Sour Candy: It’s the acidity in these candies that make you pucker. High-acid treats wear away the protective enamel of teeth making them more prone to cavities.
The most important step in enjoying your favorite treats, is to brush afterwards. Maintain a daily dental routine: brush two times per day for two minutes each time. Floss once per day in the evening and rinse with mouthwash for added benefit is removing plaque-causing bacteria.
CELEBRATE THE MOMENTS
Special occasions like birthdays, Halloween, and other holidays are often celebrated with something sweet. At Imperial Dental Center, we want you to enjoy those special moments along with the occasional indulgence of something sweet. Stay committed to taking care of your mouth and visit your dentist twice per year for an annual cleaning and checkup above and below the gumline. Contact us today at (281) 265-3567 or schedule an online appointment.
Dr. Dragana Angelova
Imperial Dental Center
“We love to see you smile”