The Candy is Coming! The Candy is COMING!

We all know that in the next week or two, Halloween candy will be everywhere, as will be the temptation to eat it, All. Day. Long. Halloween can also be an opportunity to discuss good oral habits and teach them to your kids. Here are a few tips that are easy to understand and discuss, and can make a big impact on your dental health at Halloween and all year round. 

  1. Don’t spread your candy-eating out! While we aren’t telling you to eat all the candy in one sitting, it is a better idea to eat a few pieces at once after a meal, rather than eat one piece of candy every 20 minutes throughout the day. Remember the candy alters the pH of your mouth and when it’s gone, your mouth can recover. The sooner you finish eating the candy, the sooner your mouth can get back to normal. 

  2. Drink water! There isn’t a better time than right now to start carrying a water bottle and drinking it throughout the day. Quite the opposite as what’s above, drink water throughout the day, frequently. This helps wash debris off of your teeth and allow your pH to return to normal quicker. 

  3. Use fluoride products! Some people have fluoride in their water, specifically if they live in the city and drink city water. However, some people do not or they drink bottled water, which may or may not have fluoride. Regardless, we can all benefit from the fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses. Using these every day can really make an impact on our teeth and lessen the chances of decay. 

  4. Eat First! Candy Second! Making sure we stick with our regular meal plans and eating habits can help us to not over-indulge on the sweets. Be sure you have a full stomach and are hydrated before you dig into the candy drawer!

As long as we are eating normally, drinking water throughout the day and keeping up with our brushing, flossing and rinsing, Halloween treats should not negatively affect our teeth. It is also a great opportunity to talk with your kids about the importance of our dental health and how they themselves can really make a difference in their smile. 

One more fun idea for you to try with your little ones is to set up a candy bank for your kids. Because we don’t want our kids eating the candy all day long, have the candy in one location that they know you have to retrieve for them. Only after they finish their meal or help with a chore are they able to choose 1 or 2 items. This limits the time that they are eating candy and also makes sure that they understand it is a special thing. 

If you are trick-or-treating this weekend, we hope you are having fun, being safe and, of course, Sharing Smiles. 

Halloween is Coming!

It’s that time of year when we start eyeing the candy aisle and wondering what we will buy for all of our cute, costumed, trick-or-treaters that will show up in a few weeks. While, it is true that nearly all sugar-y candy is not good for your teeth, there are a few tips on what to buy for your neighbors and how to handle your own intake of candy:

  1. Stick to the chocolate! While, yes, there is still sugar, chocolate melts off of the surface of your teeth and so the sugar won’t ‘stick’ there for a long time. Compared to a sticky candy, like a Jolly Rancher, a milk chocolate is a better option. (You still need to rinse with water after eating chocolate though!)

  2. Limit how many and how often you will eat your Halloween candy. Treating it like a dessert and having 2-3 pieces after dinner in a  short amount of time is better than having one piece every 15-30 minutes throughout the day. You can also have your child just choose their favorite kinds of candy to keep and donate the rest to groups like Support the Troops that send them overseas to our soldiers!

  3. Be sure to brush and floss! Whether you are eating milk chocolate or sticky candies that can get stuck in-between or in the grooves of your teeth, it is important to keep up with your at home brushing and flossing routine. 

  4. Spit, but don’t rinse, when you brush your teeth. This seems weird, and is not what most of us probably do. However, if you don’t rinse with water right after brushing, the fluoride from your toothpaste has a few more minutes to sit on the surfaces of your teeth, giving a little extra boost to it’s benefits to your teeth. Try it!

Halloween is a fun time and a special treat for all of us. It is also a great opportunity to remind ourselves, and our children, about how to keep up our brushing and flossing habits at home, and also talk about why sweets should be eaten only in moderation.

Friendly Reminder: If you haven’t yet finalized your costume, consider this your 3-week warning!