It may be the scariest time of year for us – the time of year when candy is everywhere and the potential for cavities skyrockets! While we want your child to have a fun and safe Halloween, we also want to take their health into consideration. Without losing any of the fun, here are some healthy Halloween habits that can stop those sugar bugs dead in their tracks and promote healthy mouths!
Out with the Hard Candies
They are the most affordable, but certainly not the best for your teeth. Hard candies are sold in big bags for cheap, and while this may be appealing to hand out on Halloween, try to just say ‘no’. Hard candies are some of the worst for a child’s teeth, and cavity-causing bacteria love them. Hard candies become sticky when eaten and can get lodged in between teeth. Even brushing and flossing may not be enough to remove all of the sugar that these hard candies leave behind.
If you really want to hand out candy for Halloween, opt for things that dissolve quickly or can be washed away with ease. Chocolate without nuts is great because it melts quickly and most of the sugar is eliminated by saliva. As long as your child brushes and flosses before they call it a night, there shouldn’t be much to worry about when it comes to lingering bacteria.
Add Some Fun Alternatives
Thanks to Pinterest and other DIY platforms, candy isn’t the only fun thing that kids look forward to on Halloween. Instead of dropping candy into those treat bags, find some fun alternatives that are also affordable. Dollar stores and craft stores have cheap crafts and knick-knacks that kids love. Bouncy balls that look like eyeballs, sticky hands, hand-clappers, etc. are all winners for the treat bag!
Trade or Donate the Candy
It is okay to allow your child to eat some treats on Halloween, but we all know how big those stashes of candy can get on Halloween night. For a healthier holiday, let your child pick a few pieces (ideally, chocolate) and then choose an organization for donation. There are many organizations that will give you cash for the candy you donate – and most will send the candy overseas. Treats for Troops is one great organization that takes Halloween candy off your hands (and teeth).
Healthy Habits All Year Long
Our team at Discovery Kids Pediatric Dentistry loves holidays, and Halloween is no exception. We also know that there is something to the old saying ‘moderation in all things’. If your child has candy on Halloween night, don’t fret. Continue to encourage healthy dental habits every day of the year, by helping them brush twice per day for two minutes, floss daily, and schedule them for their routine dental exams. Good luck and Happy Halloween!