October is a month where it’s possible to run into a vampire or a zombie on a dark street. Since we’re dentists, what really scares us, though, is the likelihood that you and your family will eat too much candy. Like almost all else in life, it’s OK to enjoy sweet treats in moderation. So we’re sharing our tips for having a healthier Halloween. You can still have fun without endangering your dental health!
Follow our advice:
- Skip sticky and sour candy
- Establish rules early on
- Hand out non-candy treats
If you’d like to schedule exams for your family before the busy holiday season begins, call 3640 Dental today at 770-802-1120. Ask about our membership plan that saves you money on routine dental care and other services.
Don’t Eat the Scariest Treats
Three types of candy do the greatest damage to your children’s teeth: sour (like gummies and suckers), hard (like jawbreakers and toffee) and sticky (like taffy and caramels). We’ve had to repair fillings and other restorations that were damaged by chewy and sticky candy. Plus, these treats stick around a long time on your kids’ teeth, which creates an opportunity for the sugar in them to cause problems. The bacteria in your mouth feeds on sugar and uses it to form acid that eats into tooth enamel and causes decay.
Hard candies can damage restorations and natural teeth too if your child bites down on them too hard. While our team will see you quickly for dental emergencies, that’s not something you want to worry about on Halloween night!
Soft chocolate like candy bars is a better choice for a healthier Halloween, since the chocolate tends to quickly dissolve and get washed away by saliva.
Have Rules in Place Before the Fun Begins for a Healthier Halloween
Don’t wait to discuss the “bad” options you’ll want to get rid of when sorting candy. We suggest doing it before trick-or-treating or other holiday activities. Your child will likely object less if the rules are clear from the start. You can agree to swap healthier treats, small toys, or even cash for the problematic candies.
If you have very young children, they might get a kick out of leaving these candies out for the “Halloween fairy.” Like her cousin, the Tooth Fairy, she can bring something else your child wants in exchange for the candy.
It’s also a good idea to set a limit on the number of pieces and/or time they can have their treats each day. So, for instance, you can agree to let your child eat two or three piece of candy each night after dinner.
Hand Out Healthier Stuff
It seems everyone is more conscious of healthy food these days, even kids. So if you’re handing out treats at your house or taking them to a truck-or-treat event, consider some of these healthier choices:
- Fruit snacks
- Chocolate-covered nuts or raisins (remember, chocolate melts away quickly)
- Juice boxes (look for 100 percent juice)
- Snack-size packs of crackers or pretzels
- Sugarless gum, especially if it contains a cavity-fighting ingredient called xylitol
You’ll also find plenty of fun non-candy options at many discount and party stores, including:
- Temporary tattoos
- Glow sticks and glow bracelets
- Small games and puzzles
- Vampire teeth
- Activity books and crayons
To make an appointment at 3640 Dental in Atlanta, GA, call us today at 770-802-1120.