Don’t Let Halloween Leave Your Child Looking Like a Tooth-less Jack-O-Lantern

It’s no secret that candy is bad for our teeth. And when we think of Halloween, besides costumes and haunted houses, the first thing that pops into our mind is lots and lots of sugar. Most children and teenagers spend the evening collecting as much candy as they can by picking the hottest spots to trick or treat. They come home with bags, pillow cases, and baskets filled with candy that usually lasts well into the winter months. The long term effects of divulging in too many sweet treats can be pretty dangerous. So although you may not be the coolest parent on the block, sometimes it’s more important to keep your children healthy rather than happy.

Be The Example

So you won’t get parent of the year if you don’t pass out the best candy in the neighborhood, but the other parents will thank you. Instead of running to the store to find the most popular candy on the market, pass out healthy alternatives. Snacks such as trail mix, goldfish, or sugar free candies can keep all the children in the neighborhood satisfied while eliminating the danger for tooth decay caused by consuming too much candy.

Find a Fun Alternative

Candy isn’t the only fun treat you can drop into the Halloween bags of the neighborhood superman or the cowgirl next door. Glow sticks are a great alternative to providing sweet treats on October 31st. Not only are they fun, they help keep our children safe while walking the streets by catching the eyes of those traveling in cars. Other options are Halloween-themed pens, pencils, or stickers, or small activity games. Be creative and there are so many options to choose from when using these alternatives.

If You Must…

If you just don’t have the heart to keep your child sugar-free on Halloween, help them stay away from the candy that is most likely to affect their teeth. Sour candies contain large amount of acid which can wear away at tooth enamel. Teeth that have had their tooth enamel broken down are more likely to become chipped or broken and are likely to become extremely sensitive to things like temperature. Hard candies take longer to dissolve than most candy. This means your teeth are swimming in a sugar bath and this along with the acid can cause your child to get cavities. Sticky candies are by far the worst for your teeth. Candies like taffy, caramel, peanut butter filled, and candies containing nuts leave a residue on your teeth that allows bacteria to cling to them. This causes an increased presence of decay. If your child consumes sticky candies, make sure they brush their teeth right away!

So maybe you can’t avoid candy all together on Halloween. That is understandable. But as a parent, do you best to make sure you take the proper steps to ensuring the least amount of damage to your child’s teeth during this sweet treat holiday. Your oral health provider and your wallet will thank you!