It’s almost Halloween – time for ghosts and goblins, ghouls and witches! Whatever character your child chooses to dress up as this Halloween, remember to keep them safe by adding reflective strips to their outfit, or provide a flashlight or cool glowstick to make sure they stand out in the dark. And don’t let them eat their treats until you’ve had a chance to go through them! Whether this is the first Halloween you are trick or treating with your little one, or whether you’re both experienced pros, it’s a good idea to review best practices for Healthy Halloween safety before you go out for a night of fun.
Halloween Tricks for your Teeth
Of course, for many kids, Halloween is all about candy. Unless you want to go candy-free, now is a good time to set some ground rules that will help your children develop healthy habits when it comes to sweets and treats.
We all know sugary candy is bad for your teeth. When you or your child consumes sugary food or drinks, the bacteria (germs) in your mouth and the dental plaque on your teeth mix with the sugars in the candy to make a mild acid. This acid softens the enamel (the hard layer on the outside of your teeth) which can lead to a cavity. Want to know more? Check out our blog The Truth Behind How Sugars Affect Your Teeth and Overall Health.
Top Tips for Healthy Halloween Smiles
While we all might like treats, no one likes a cavity.
Take time to talk with your child about ways to limit the amount of candy they consume, and practice good oral hygiene to keep cavities at bay. The Canadian Dental Association website has some great advice on keeping a healthy Halloween smile.
Here are some of the top tips:
Eat treats only with a meal
This is an easy one for you to model for your child. Not only will it benefit them, you’ll develop a healthy habit too! When you eat, saliva develops in your mouth. That saliva helps dilute the acid caused by eating sugary foods, and keeps mouths cleaner by washing away food particles. Drinking water with sugary treats boosts the benefits even more!
Limit the number of treats you eat each day
Set ground rules with your child about how many treats they can eat in a day. Balance is important when it comes to food, so this lesson can last a lifetime.
Focus on the favourites
Do you want quality or quantity? Kids might be willing to ditch the “gross” treats in favour of their favourites. Bring a smaller bag and ditch the ones your child doesn’t like. They may get less candy, but what they DO have, they’ll enjoy more.
Be a Switch Witch
Another way to reduce candy intake is to swap some candy for a toy or non-candy treat your child will enjoy just as much. They won’t miss the sweets if they can focus on a fun new activity!
Chocolate is better than sticky sweets
If you’re choosing between different types of candy, chocolate is better for teeth than sticky sweets like toffee and gummies. Sticky sweets, well, “stick” around in your mouth longer, allowing the sugary acid to build up in your mouth.
Always Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Of course, nothing helps get rid of the bad acids in your mouth like proper flossing and brushing.
Always remember to:
- Brush teeth after every meal…or at least twice a day.
- Floss every day – you can talk to our Cranberry Hill Dental team about proper flossing techniques.
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet, limiting sugary snacks and drinks – good nutrition can help build strong teeth and gums!
- Visit Cranberry Hill Dentist for regularly scheduled cleanings and checkups!
Schedule your next appointment with Cranberry Hill Dentistry – Dental Clinic in Waterdown
Whether you’re looking for routine cleanings and checkups, or specialized services like Invisalign braces, veneers, crowns or teeth whitening, the friendly staff at Cranberry Hill Dentistry is here for all your dental needs! Contact us today via our website or by calling 905-689-9551.