3 Ways to Enjoy Halloween Without Destroying Your Teeth
Halloween is a fun holiday that many kids look forward to! Who doesn’t love a day devoted to fun costumes and sweet treats? But, like all good things, there is such a thing as too much. Too much sugar intake can be harmful to your child’s teeth and increase their risk of cavities. Here are a few strategies you can implement this year to make Halloween both fun and safe!
1. Don’t Forget to Brush
A new toothbrush is helpful to maximize the benefits of brushing, but it’s also fun to have! Why not get your child a new toothbrush in her new favorite color to use for the first time on Halloween night? You can slip it in their candy bag for them to discover while they sort through their incredible stash of candy. After indulging in a couple of pieces of candy, you can talk to them about the importance of taking care of their teeth by brushing and flossing. Be sure to teach younger children the proper techniques for brushing and flossing. Show them how to hold their toothbrush at a 45-degree angle and use gentle, circular strokes over every surface of their teeth.
2. Make a Plan
Before you leave for your community’s fall festival, or to trick-or-treat, make a plan with your kids. Decide ahead of time how many pieces of candy your child is allowed to eat once you get home. Or, decide how many homes you plan to visit to limit the amount of candy your child will receive. By establishing trade-in options, or daily candy allowances, you’ll monitor your child’s sugar intake and their teeth will thank you! Use this time to remind your kids about the problems sugar can cause and how it’s important to fill our mouths and our bodies with foods that are healthy and helpful for our growth. Having these conversations regularly will help your child learn good habits that will improve their dental health.
3. A Different Kind of Sweet Reward
A treat doesn’t have to include sugar to be sweet. Give your child the option of trading in their entire bucket of Halloween candy for a new book, toy, or activity. Or, create a rewards chart that gives your kids options for a trade-in. For example, they can trade in one piece of candy and get a sticker, or trade in five pieces of candy, and stay up five minutes later at night. Think of fun things your child enjoys that will feel like a sweet treat without the sticky sugar. What a fun way to extend the excitement Halloween brings by allowing small trade-ins until the candy is gone!
You don’t have to drain all of the fun out of Halloween, but you can make it safer for your child. Teach them the importance of moderation and how to enjoy sugar without overdoing it. If you’re concerned about your child’s dental health or need to schedule a routine cleaning, make an appointment at Anderson & Atkins, DDS. Our family-friendly dentistry is designed to take care of every member of your family and empower parents to influence their children’s dental habits.
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