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.
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.
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.
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.
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.