It’s October! How has 2017 flown by so fast? The holiday season is approaching, starting with a dentist’s worst nightmare- HALLOWEEN! Believe it or not, we actually love Halloween at Scuba Smiles for Kids. It’s totally possible to keep your teeth healthy and also enjoy the spirit of this spooky season, and we’re here to share our tips and tricks with you.
Focus on activities rather than candy
Trick-or-treating is fun, but it’s only a small part of the fun! We love the idea of focusing on all the other fun traditions around halloween- telling ghost stories, watching spooky movies, dressing in costumes, bobbing for apples, and spending time with friends and family. While candy is a fun part of Halloween, getting your kids excited about all that Halloween has to offer may help downplay the significance of candy. For spooky movies that are appropriate for children, we recommend Hocus Pocus, Casper the Friendly Ghost, and Scooby Doo. Definitely check out Mouth Healthy for some great sugar-free Halloween activities.
Once your kids are excited about Halloween traditions rather than just candy, we love the tradition of a switch witch! Take your child toy shopping before Halloween and let them pick an item they really want. Tell them that if they’re willing to leave their candy out overnight, a special Halloween switch witch will come and trade their candy for their chosen toy. This can help kids give up candy without feeling like they missed out on the fun of trick-or-treating.
Chocolate is better than chewy or sticky candies.
Everyone wants candy once in a while, especially on Halloween. If at all possible, encourage your child to choose chocolate over chewy or sticky candy. Chocolate melts off the teeth rather than sticking to it, so it’s less likely for sugar and bacteria to be stuck in the crevaces of teeth. Anything that limits how long teeth are exposed to sugar is a good thing in our books!
If all else fails, one night of fun
We get it! It’s difficult persuading your child to let go of the candy. Some children look forward to trick-or-treating all year, and they want to enjoy all the fun of Halloween. While excessive amounts of sugar are never good nutritionally, if your child is going to eat lots of candy, we recommend letting them get it all over in one sitting. That’s right! A no-holds-barred free-for-all, hopefully ending just shy of a tummy ache! Again, we want to encourage patients to limit the amount of time their teeth are exposed to sugar, so maybe set a timer or tell them they can only eat their candy between trick-or-treating and bed time. If you go this route, make sure to brush and floss really well after the fact. It’s also much healthier to limit sugar intake on a day-to-day basis, so if you’re going to allow mass amounts of candy, it should be a once-a-year treat.
We hope these tips help you and your children have a healthy and happy Halloween! If your kids need a cleaning or an extra dose of fluoride, give us a call so we can get you scheduled!