Halloween – a time to dress up in costume and stock up on candy. No wonder kids love this time of year! Halloween can be frustrating for parents who don’t want to send mixed messages by letting their children go candy crazy.
Here are some ideas to lessen the impact of candy on your children’s oral health:
Control the amount of candy:
- Limit the amount of candy your children collect by limiting the number of houses they visit, or the amount of time they spend Trick-or-Treating.
- Sort candy and remove items your child does not like or may not be safe. Keep only items that are unopened and in their original wrapping.
- Trade candy for non-food items like bouncy balls, pencils or tattoos.
- Store candy out of sight.
- Limit the number of times your child eats candy. The more times a day they eat it, the greater the risk of tooth decay.
- Avoid bringing candy to school.
- Offer the candy after meals instead of as a snack, the extra saliva produced at mealtimes helps provide some protection to teeth.
- Use Halloween candy for craft projects.
Offer alternatives to candy:
- Hand out stickers, temporary tattoos, bubbles or Halloween themed pencils.
End the Halloween season:
- Set a date when it’s no longer Halloween at your house so you can return to normal, healthy eating and snacking routines.
Brush and floss with extra care and attention:
- Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss between teeth regularly.
- Supervise your child with these activities as needed.
Additional protection for teeth:
Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and dental sealants to protect your child’s teeth from tooth decay.
For more information see: www.MyHealth.Alberta.ca and search for “basic dental care”.