With summer fast becoming a very distant memory, the stores are stuffed with Halloween costumes, decorations, and of course, sugary treats. While kids may love Halloween, it can be a different story for concerned parents and dentists in Newcastle. If you are planning a spooky soirée or will be taking your little ones trick-or-treating, we have a few tips on how to enjoy a healthier Halloween that is still fun for everyone.
It’s All About Balance
Halloween is only one night a year, and the foods that are eaten every day have far more of an impact on dental health. However, you can reduce your child’s capacity for sugary treats by filling them up with nutritious foods first. Serve a healthy meal before they trick or treating or put out the healthy snacks first at a party. You can choose recipes with a Halloween theme, and the internet is a great place to search. There are plenty of ideas that are healthy and sugar-free but are still tasty and fun to eat. Get your kids involved with making them, perhaps as part of a new Halloween tradition.
Choose Less Harmful Sweet Treats
The most “tooth-friendly” candy is dark chocolate, as it contains useful antioxidants that make it harder for bacteria to stick to teeth. It also melts easily, so it is more quickly washed away by saliva. Milk and white chocolate also melt easily and will do less harm. Try to avoid sticky and hard candies that linger for ages and can be tough to remove from teeth.
Choose or make smaller, fun-size sweet treats instead of full-sized candies. When purchasing your treats, don’t over-buy as it can be too tempting for the whole family to snack on candy! Supplement treats with fruit-based desserts such as baked apples or pears with nuts, cinnamon and a little honey. Apple slices go well with dips made from yogurt and pumpkin pie spice.
Choose Treats You Don’t Eat
Treats don’t need to be edible, and dollar stores have loads of toys, crayons, stickers, and other small items that are great to hand out to trick or treaters. These treats are also a lot more tooth-friendly for kids wearing braces and who need to avoid many of the sticky candies handed out.
Limit the Leftovers
If your kids had a hefty haul of candy or if you bought too much, have a plan as to what to do with the leftovers. One option is to donate the candy or go through it carefully and let your kids pick out their favourites. You could also try freezing some and doling it out in small portions.
Toothbrushing and Flossing After Eating Sweet Treats
When your kids or anyone else in your family has finished eating something sweet, make sure everyone rinses their mouth with water, giving it a good swish around to remove excess sugars and loose pieces of candy. Initially, after eating sugary treats, your mouth is quite acidic as mouth bacteria get to work on the sugars. These acids attack tooth enamel, weakening and eroding it, and eventually causing tooth decay in Clarington. Rinsing with water after eating helps to reduce acidity levels, so pH levels in your mouth will normalize more quickly.
Wait at least half an hour to an hour before you brush your teeth. As acidity levels reduce, your tooth enamel gradually rehardens so that your toothbrush won’t damage it. Don’t forget about flossing, as this is essential for removing those sticky candies in hard-to-reach areas of the mouth. Remember, our friendly dental team here at West Bowmanville Family Dental is always here to offer advice on dental health in Courtice, so feel free to pick our brains!