Halloween is right around the corner, but what does this mean for you when it comes to your dental health? It’s no secret that candy and sugar cause tooth decay and cavities. And although some parents are extremely vigilant, keeping candy out of your home and out of your children’s mouths is not the norm. The good news is, we have come up with a list of 5 things you can do to help your home survive the sugary whirlwind of Halloween.
- Hand out non-sugary treats. Maybe you had the experience as a kid of going to that house while trick-or-treating that only handed out toothbrushes. When you are a kid, that is less than thrilling. You don’t have to go to that extreme if handing out treats to trick-or-treaters is a part of your tradition, but you can hand out something that won’t add to the sugar problem, like a bag of popcorn, crackers, or a fun tattoo or pencil. Amidst their sack of candy, a non-candy item may come as a fun surprise.
- Don’t buy candy for your home. For most people, it isn’t realistic to keep all candy out of the home. But one thing you can do is limit it. Halloween candy is already on the shelves at your local supermarkets, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy it. We aren’t suggesting that you can never have a treat either. But chances are, if you buy a bag now, intending to save it for Halloween, it will get opened and eaten up well before then, and you will end up consuming a lot more candy than you would normally.
- Don’t forget about yourself. Parents are naturally concerned about their children’s health and want to make sure they have a balanced intake and good dental hygiene. But don’t forget about yourself. The candy that isn’t great for your children’s teeth also isn’t great for your teeth. And it can be easy to tell yourself it isn’t a big deal when you are just sneaking a piece or two of fun-sized candy out of your kid’s stash, but it adds up.
- Use your influence. You don’t have to get caught up in the overly indulgent nature of the holidays. If you have a business where you might put a candy bowl out for your clients, come up with a healthier alternative. Or put the candy out just for a special occasion, not all the time. If you are in charge of seasonal crafts at your child’s school, club, or church group, search around online and find a craft that doesn’t involve candy and sweet treats. There are plenty of places out there where your children will get candy, so don’t worry; you won’t be depriving them completely. Use your spheres of influence to make a healthy impact.
- Moderation is key. Unless you don’t participate in any Halloween or Fall Harvest activities at all, chances are you and your family are going to end up with some candy in your house after Halloween. Just remember—moderation is key. Limit yourself and your children to a few pieces a day. Maybe put it out of sight, so your kids aren’t thinking about it and asking for it all the time. Prohibition can lead to bad habits of bingeing and hiding candy. Sugar is not the enemy; it is just important for our health and our teeth to limit it to occasional treats and not a frequent thing.
Hopefully, these tips will help you navigate the upcoming Halloween season. If you have any questions about your dental health and want to chat with Dr. Raj or Dr. G, contact us today at TruBlu Dentistry.