Vampires, monsters, and zombies… Oh my! But what’s scarier than even the creepiest ghouls and goblins? Tooth decay! Okay – so a mouth full of cavities probably isn’t going to be the top costume for Halloween this year, but it is true that the effects sugar can have lifelong effects. And that is pretty scary.
Sugary Treat Reminders
Of course, candy and sugary treats are a huge part of Halloween (and a lot of the upcoming holidays too). That’s why it’s important to know how to take care of your kids’ teeth when they are allowed to have sweets that can wreak havoc on their teeth. And, it’s probably not a bad idea to have some candy alternatives ready too!
The first and most important thing to remember is to always brush and floss right after eating sugary treats – and that doesn’t just mean candy. Sodas, sports drinks, various crackers and other foods that you might not even think of can have a lot of sugar too. Make sure to check labels so that you know when your kiddos are eating something that can leave sugar on their teeth that can lead to decay.
When it comes to candy, chocolate is probably going to be your best bet because it is soft and washes off of the teeth more easily. Sticky and gummy candies are tough because they leave residue on the teeth that can be hard to get off. And the same goes for hard candies that can stick to teeth and also potentially cause teeth to break.
Halloween Treat Alternatives
Another great Halloween idea is bottled water. Not only does it give the teeth a quick rinse if snacking happens while away from your toothbrush, but trick-or-treating can be hard work and water keeps little bodies hydrated.
Some great snack alternatives to candy or sweets are sugar-free gum, cheese sticks, popcorn, sugar-free applesauce, and pretzels. And don’t forget that trinkets can be treats too! Fun pencils, stickers, temporary tattoos, glow sticks and more are always welcome additions to any Halloween bag. If you want to hand out tooth-friendly treats this year, you don’t have to hand out toothbrushes! You can get creative with all kinds of fun toys and doodads for your own kiddos and the ones in your neighborhood too.
October kicks off the holiday seasons that we all love so much. From Halloween to Valentine’s Day, it’s important this time of year to remember to practice good oral health to keep your little one’s mouths healthy. Tooth decay is scary all year long, but good choices and healthy habits are just as effective against cavities as garlic is to vampires.