your-halloween-candy-planIs thinking about Halloween candy and its effect on your children’s teeth making you feel like it’s a holiday made for creating tooth decay? Don’t fret, you can be mindful of your child’s oral health and still let them enjoy the special occasion and the treats that come with it. In fact, Halloween can be a great time to teach your children about how to prevent cavities and make healthy choices. It’s almost impossible avoid Halloween candy completely, but there are some easy and fun ways that you can minimize the sugar overload after trick-or-treating is over.

Brush Those Treats Away

Whether your child eats one piece of candy or ten, it’s a must to brush properly to prevent tooth decay. After indulging in Halloween sweets, have your child both brush and floss, since candy can easily get stuck between teeth. Remind your child of proper brushing techniques. Show him how to move the brush back and forth against his teeth and gums with short, gentle strokes and how to place the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line. Younger children will need your help to brush and floss thoroughly.

Create Candy Plan

The best thing you can do to avoid going overboard with Halloween candy is to prepare ahead of time. Talk with your child about what the plan will be before the bucket is brimming with candy. It helps to give your child options from which to choose, such as whether they would like to keep the candy and parcel it out slowly or trade it in for a no-sugar reward. Another idea is to set a limit on the number of houses that you visit or to simply have your child fill a smaller bag. The most important part is to establish the rules beforehand.

Candy Swap

There are a lot of alternatives to simply deciding whether or not you will allow your child to indulge in Halloween sweets. A candy swap is a great way to let your child enjoy the fun of trick-or-treating without overloading on sweets. The general concept is to swap your child’s candy for a non-candy treat, such as a toy that your child has wanted for some time or an activity she has wanted to try. You can also extend the swap by trading out small amounts at a time rather than the whole thing at once; for example, you can allow your child to pick one piece of Halloween candy a day but then give them the opportunity to do a daily trade for something as simple as a sticker.

Halloween doesn’t have to be scary for dental health. Use it as a teachable moment to help your child learn about moderation and dental care. You will set your child up for a future of healthy choices.

Call our office today at (562) 434-6414 to schedule an appointment for a post-Halloween teeth cleaning!