Halloween is right around the corner! We want to help keep your kids’ teeth healthy WITHOUT giving up all the sweet treats.
Don’t eliminate candy completely After your children get back from trick-or-treating or a party, go through their bags of Halloween candy together. Pick out a small number of pieces – the ones they like the best – and get the unpicked treats out of sight. You can donate them or freeze them if you can’t bear to throw them out.
Letting children help decide what is a reasonable amount of candy to keep has benefits beyond good oral health. The message isn’t “candy is bad,” but that candy and other sweets, in excess, can lead to cavities.
Set a “Treat Time” to help prevent cavities Make it a ritual and establish a “treat time”. This may last long after Halloween and help promote healthy thinking about treats. Knowing they have a specific sweet time can help make children less inclined to think about eating sweets at other times of the day. Children learn that eating sweets shouldn’t be an all-day feast. Moderation is key.
Set up a teeth brushing and flossing schedule Have a “treat time”? Then make a “teeth brushing time”! Whether it’s day or night, brushing and flossing after “treat time” will help sweep away the recent sweets and prevent cavities. Until a child is 7 or 8 years old, a parent should help with teeth brushing, not simply supervise. Even after age 8, parents should supervise brushing. That includes friendly reminders to older children to brush and floss until they get to high school, when it should be a habit.
Keep Teeth Brushing Fun Make Halloween a time to get a new toothbrush! Making this part of the holiday can help keep kids excited to brush regularly.