The holidays are all about indulging – but there’s a difference between enjoying treats responsibly and throwing your oral health to the wind. If you help your kids (and yourself) approach Halloween in a slightly healthier fashion, you can avoid cavities and dental emergencies in the following months. The best news? You don’t have to give up candy – you just need to be smarter about it.
Read on for our candy-conscious tips, and let us know if you ever have questions about how to encourage your family to eat healthy.
What To Avoid On (And After) Halloween
- Sticky or hard candy – These sweets tend to become lodged between teeth, spending a great deal of time against your enamel. Without good hygiene, they may not even be removed for days. Instead of Jolly Ranchers or Starbursts, hand out chocolate to trick or treaters. Chocolate candy is milk-based and melts away quickly. As an added bonus, chocolate may actually have antibacterial effects that boost your mouth’s immune system.
- Eating candy throughout the day – When you eat a meal, your mouth produces saliva, which helps cleanse your mouth and wash away acids. When you snack, you don’t produce as much saliva, so the mouth is more vulnerable. If you encourage your kids to eat their candy as a dessert after lunch or dinner, they benefit from the extra saliva production.
- Skipping brushing or flossing – Oral hygiene needs to take place at least twice every day, even during the holidays! Check in on your kids to be sure they’re not neglecting their toothbrush.
- Letting old candy sit around the house – Your kids will keep eating candy long after they’ve grown tired of it, just because it’s there. Instead of letting that candy persist, find a creative use for it.