San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA
Halloween is often a fun and exciting holiday to celebrate, especially if you have kids. But one thing most parents despise is all of that candy their kids collect while trick or treating. You may be tempted just to toss it in the trash after a few days, although your kids wouldn’t like that too much. Some parents allow their kids the freedom to munch on their candy loot as often as they want, as long as it’s not close to dinner time. Others may prefer that their kids graze on candy throughout the day instead of loading up on too much sugar in one sitting. However, there are certain steps you can take to ensure your family enjoys Halloween without wrecking their teeth. So today on the blog, Bay Area family dentists share our guide to a safe and healthy Halloween.
All or Nothing
Most parents are of the mindset that kids should eat only a few pieces of candy at a time and save the rest for later in the day. However, cavity risk increases with frequent exposure to sugar. Therefore, it’s best to have an all-or-nothing mentality when it comes to eating candy. For instance, let your kids have a set number of pieces that they can consume in one sitting and then be done with the candy for the day.
Eat Candy at Meal Times
The chances are good that when you were a kid, your parents told you that you couldn’t eat sweets right before dinner because it would ruin your appetite. And, you’ve probably said the same thing to your kids. However, in terms of your oral health, it’s actually better to eat candy around meals because the other foods will help rinse away sugar residue that could be harmful to your teeth. Therefore, allow candy snacks right before a meal to lessen your child’s risk of cavities.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Sugar-free gum that contains xylitol is actually proven to help reduce the risk of tooth decay. While it’s best to brush and floss after eating candy, sugar-free gum works in a pinch. Plus, it freshens your breath when you’re on the go.
Encourage Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits
While occasional candy isn’t enough to totally wreck your child’s oral health, neglecting their teeth entirely could cause far more damage. Therefore, the most important thing you can do is encourage your child to practice good oral hygiene, like brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Plus, remember to follow through with routine dental checkups and cleanings to an additional layer of protection against the threat of gum disease and cavities.
Family Dentists in the Bay Area
This Halloween, it’s ok to let your kids have fun and enjoy their candy stash. Just remember to set limits and encourage good oral hygiene habits. Good oral health is about consistency, so don’t let the worry of cavities ruin your Halloween fun! For more information about oral health or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist near you in the Bay Area, call Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500 or contact us today.