We hope you and your family enjoy a safe and happy Halloween this year and for many years to come. We know nothing puts a smile on a child’s face like candy.
Unfortunately, we also know that too much candy can take a smile away.
This year, we are sharing a few suggestions that can help you enjoy your sweet treats without spoiling Halloweens for years to come. We know it’s not realistic to say, “Don’t eat candy.” Instead, our team at Texas Dental Group wants you to plan ahead to prevent Halloween candy from causing cavities.
For now, however, let’s discuss what you can do to protect your smile.
Decide What To Do With Candy Before Trick-or-Treating
Maybe we are just remembering things differently, but it seems like kids get a lot more candy than we did when we were kids. In all seriousness, many kids come back from trick-or-treating with enough candy to feed two or three families.
This is why we would encourage you to talk to your kids about what to do with that candy before you put on your costumes. Decide in advance how much candy they will get to keep. You can discuss how much candy is reasonable to eat at one time and each day.
Involving your kids in the decision can help them stay committed to your agreement.
Another way to get some of that candy out of your house is to look for places to donate it. A quick internet search for “Halloween candy donations” can give you some options where you can send your extra candy.
Plus, if your kids know that their extra candy could be helping someone else, they may be excited about giving some of it away.
Eat Meals, Then Snacks, & Drink Water
Once your kids come home with their candy harvest, sort out what you will keep. Then, make sure they understand when they can eat some candy.
The best time to eat candy is after your kids have eaten a delicious and nutritious meal. When they are already full, they won’t be as tempted to eat half the candy bowl in one sitting.
There is another benefit to eating after a meal. Saliva increases when people have been eating, and this helps to remove small food particles before they can get stuck between or on teeth.
Another great idea is to drink a glass of water while you are eating candy. This is another aid in rinsing small food bits out of your mouth before they can become fuel for cavity-causing bacteria.
Know Which Sweet Treats Are Least Harmful
We don’t have to tell you that all candy is not the same. We are sure that you and your kids each have your favorites.
Our concern isn’t taste as much as it is the potential harm. For that reason, we want you to think carefully about which treats you eat.
Sticky and sour candies can pose some of the biggest risks to your family’s smiles. Caramels and gummies are more likely to stick to your teeth. This can make them difficult to remove even when you brush and floss like you should. The longer candy hangs around, the more likely it is to feed bacteria, too.
Sour candies often get their flavor from acidic ingredients. This can hurt the enamel of teeth, making them weaker and more vulnerable to decay.
Milk chocolate and snacks like mini pretzels contain less sugar. They can still cause problems if you eat too many of them, but they are easier to clean from your teeth.
Dark chocolate is even better than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate does have sugar, but it also contains antioxidants that can reduce your risk of tooth decay compared to other treats.
And Remember To Care For Your Teeth
No matter what treats you enjoy this Halloween or any other time of the year, it’s always important to take care of your mouth.
That means following the ADA recommendations:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss between your teeth and gums daily
- Get regular checkups at your family dentist office