Be A Sweetheart and Treat Your Teeth Kindly on Halloween
At Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry we love the Halloween season. Not only because of all the frighteningly cute costumes or awesome haunted houses, but because Halloween gives our Sidekicks the perfect opportunity to show those dastardly Sugar Bugs exactly what they are all about – scaring Cavity Creep and Plaki Plak so bad they won’t dare come around your little one’s teeth again.
While Halloween is a great time to celebrate and enjoy some delicious candies, it’s important to know which treats are better for teeth, and which ones are only bound to let Cavity Creep sneak back into the picture. Now, that isn’t permission to go candy crazy for the rest of the year, but there are some good and bad candy options that may end up in that trick-or-treat bag this Halloween.
Let’s start off with the worst candy options you can go with:
- Scary sugary snacks: Cookies and cakes all contain a spooky amount of sugar that can lead to tooth decay.
- Horrifying chewy and sticky sweets: These are some of the worst candies that you can eat because they get stuck in the crevices between your teeth and are nearly impossible to clean out. Gummies, taffy, and even dried fruit, should be avoided unless you want to have teeth like a zombie.
- Creepy sour candies: The chemicals used to make sour candies are highly acidic and can break down tooth enamel. It’s recommended to wait 30 minutes after eating sour candies to brush your teeth. Doing so before the 30 minutes can actually brush the acid more into the tooth.
You’re better off going with these:
- Monstrously delicious sugar-free lollipops: These sugar-free treats still pack flavor while stimulating saliva and helping to prevent dry mouth. Dry mouth actually causes plaque to build up faster and can lead to increased risk of cavities.
- Terrifyingly tasty sugar-free gum: If you haven’t noticed, sugar free is the way to go. Sugar-free gum can help to dislodge food particles between your teeth and increase saliva, which helps to prevent tooth decay.
- Count Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate has been consistently reported as having a beneficial amount of antioxidants, which can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure.
This is also a great time to teach your little goblins how to prevent cavities and make healthy living choices.
Think about the following fun and simple ways to avoid the trick-or-treat sugar overload.
Make a Sweet Candy Plan
Want to avoid having your princesses and cowboys going overboard with Halloween candy? Then plan ahead. Think about setting a limit on the number of houses you visit so you don’t have an excess of candy. You can also have a smaller candy bag on hand.
Have a plan in place for when those candy buckets start overflowing and let your child know early on what their limitations will be.
Ghoulish Trade Off
Halloween doesn’t have to just be about the candy; there are a lot of alternative rewards that you can offer your little one instead of sweets. For example, you can offer your child the opportunity to pick one piece of Halloween candy per day, or you can let them do a daily candy swap for something simple like a sticker.
Scare Away Cavity Creep
Brushing teeth is going to be essential to preventing tooth decay during the Halloween season. Scare Cavity Creep away by dropping a brand new toothbrush and floss into your child’s Halloween bucket before they head out for the night.
After having a few treats, make sure your child brushes and flosses their teeth – especially because candy can easily get stuck between those pearly whites. Guide younger children as needed.
While Halloween costumes may be scary, taking care of your little monster’s teeth doesn’t have to be. At Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry, we believe Halloween is the perfect moment to teach your child about dental care and being responsible without overindulging.
Whether Halloween or Fourth of July, Little Heroes Pediatric Dentistry is here to meet your family’s dental care needs. Contact our Little Heroes offices in Laredo, Mission, or San Juan to schedule your next appointment.