How To Win Halloween With Your Kids And Your Dentist

With temperatures dropping here in the far north of the U.S., it is clear that fall is upon us, and with fall, you get Halloween.

To help protect your kids’ teeth this Halloween from all the candy they trick-or-treat from the neighbors, your local Billings, MT, dentists have some tips for you from the candies to watch for ways to prevent candy-induced cavities.

Best Halloween Candies For Kids

While all candies have the potential to cause issues, there are some Halloween candies that are better for your little ones. Our top three candy recommendations are:

  • Sugarless candies – With sugarless candies, the detrimental bacteria that feed on sugar and causes cavities will have less to eat. However, as these candies still have plenty of carbs that breakdown into glucose—sugar—they aren’t necessarily a safe candy, just better than some.
  • Dark chocolate – One of the best candies for your teeth is dark chocolate. There are antibacterial properties to cocoa and can help harden enamel.
  • Candy with nuts – Candies with nuts included has their stickiness broken up by the texture of the nuts. So, while sticky candies aren’t great, nuts can help.

Worst Halloween Treats For Kids

As for the worst candies for kids, there are three that stand out:

  • Gummy candies – There is an attractive variety of gummy treats, from gummy worms to sour patch kids. The gummy nature of the candy means it is harder to get off your kids’ teeth, and it attracts bacteria. Also, gummy candies are often acidic, which wears down the enamel of your kids’ teeth.
  • All sticky candy – From Laffy Taffy to your average caramel, sticky candy is terrible for kids’ teeth. The high concentration of sugar and sticky nature means the cavity-causing bacteria in the mouth will have their own Halloween party.
  • Suckers / Lollipops – With suckers, the damage is two-fold. One, they are long-lasting candies, which means the teeth are constantly being washed with sugar. Second, many kids can’t resist biting on lollipops, which can chip their teeth.

Ways To Protect Your Children’s Teeth This Halloween

Along with helping your kids make smart choices when it comes to candy consumption, there are some things you can do this Halloween to help protect your children’s teeth.

Opt For Sealants Before Halloween

A dental service that is not commonly known is dental sealants. With dental sealants, our dentists use a small brush to paint on a compound that seals your children’s healthy teeth, adding a layer of protection to the enamel.

By having this extra protection, you can better ensure that your children’s teeth are safe this Halloween.

Eat A Hearty Meal

Walking from house to house can work up an appetite, leading children—and some parents—to overindulge in Halloween candy. Instead of leaving that appetite to be assuaged by candy, be sure that the whole family eats a hearty meal before heading out.

A dinner high in protein, featuring foods like chicken, beans, quinoa, etc., and fiber—leafy greens, colorful veggies, etc.— are a great way to help fill up young tummies with healthy food without weighing them down with too heavy food that would make walking uncomfortable.

Have Your Kids Carry Water Bottles

To avoid having sugar residue from candy rest on your children’s teeth the entire time that you are all out trick-or-treating, have them carry a small water bottle.

For one thing, dehydration can increase tooth decay, so it is important to stay hydrated. Along with that, by taking sips of water after eating a piece of candy, your kids can wash away some of the sugar residues.

There are small, 8 oz. disposable water bottles that your kids can easily carry among their candies so that they can take care of their hydration needs.

Limit Candy Intake

Most kids will happily shovel candy into their mouths in between knocking on doors for more candy. While it is cute, the unrestrained intake of candy can create layers of sugar on their teeth. Also, consuming a high amount of sugar can lead to upset stomachs and regurgitation, and you certainly don’t want the combo of sugar and stomach acid on your kids’ teeth.

Instead of running this risk, set some limits on how much candy your kids can eat, both while treat-or-treating and for when you get home. Maybe one piece per street or a similar rule can help keep from issues arising.

Ensure Oral Hygiene Happens After Trick-or-Treating

After a long night of walking, talking, and candy eating, some kids may be tempted to crash once they get home. But you definitely do not want your kids to go to sleep without cleaning their teeth.

So, no matter how sleepy your kids are, be sure that they properly brush their teeth and floss. You may need to do it for them, just to make sure that your kids are good to go to bed.

If you are interested in having sealants applied to your children’s teeth or want to set up their post-Halloween dental cleaning, feel free to contact us today!

Speak Your Mind