We’ve talked a lot lately about Fall and holiday foods, which ones are good for your teeth or bad for your teeth, and generally how to keep your mouth healthy this upcoming holiday season. However, what about the big holiday coming up, Halloween?
Naturally, you want to protect your family’s teeth and gums during the holidays, but you also don’t want to deprive them of enjoying the holiday altogether. “Moderation in all things” is what Aristotle once wrote, and this is something to take to heart when teaching your kids about Halloween. Have fun, enjoy the festivities, but don’t go overboard on the candy!
While advocating moderation is a long-term strategy for your family’s dental health, there are some great Halloween candy alternatives that you can use to help keep cavities and tooth decay at bay:
There’s a reason why many dentists advocate sugar-free gum after meals – while not as useful as actually brushing your child’s teeth, chewing sugar-free gum helps clean teeth after eating. It promotes saliva production which neutralizes any bacteria or acids caused by eating. It can also help dislodge small food particles, in case you or your child isn’t able to brush or floss immediately after eating. We understand that you might not want to give smaller children gum, but with proper supervision, sugar-free gum can make an excellent Halloween candy alternative.
Snack Sized Crackers or Pretzels
One of the most fun parts of Halloween is getting to bring a little bit of your haul with you in your lunch for a few weeks – it’s like an extra special treat that reminds you of the fun of Halloween. There’s no reason to deprive your child of that treat, but remember that it doesn’t need to be candy! While over-snacking should be avoided, snack pouches of pretzels, crackers, or even trail mix can substitute overly-sugary candy as a part of your child’s trick-or-treating.
It’s not a trick, there are actually sugar-free hard candies and lollipops available to purchase. You can also try the diabetic section of a pharmacy as well for sugar-free and low-sugar alternatives to regular candy. These types of candies should be eaten in moderation as too much of the sugar alcohols that are used to sweeten them can distress the digestive system. However, because they are sugar-free, they cause fewer bacteria production on the teeth and gums and help keep your child’s mouth sparkling.
If you’re not interested in substituting food or sugar-free items for candy with your children, you might prefer investing in a “buy-back” program instead. This is a system where you would “buy” your child’s trick-or-treating candy from them at the end of Halloween with either money or small toys. It would be up to you what the exchange rate would be, but if you value each piece at between one cent to five cents you might only be responsible for less than $20. This method can help your child consume less candy while allowing them to learn a lesson about money.
Contact Your Cosmetic Dentists in Fuquay Varina Today
If you or someone in your family has had a little too much Halloween candy and needs some cosmetic work done on their teeth, contact your cosmetic dentists at Hamby Family Dental Center here in Fuquay Varina. You can schedule an appointment by filling out our form or feel free to call us at (919) 552-2431.