Impossible, right? Actually, it’s very possible. As a parent, you probably cringe every year about this time thinking about all that candy your kids are going to get on their fun night of trick-or-treating. And all that sugar swishing around in their mouths, well, it’s on a mission to destroy your kid’s teeth and tooth structures. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things you can do as a parent to help your kids get through Halloween and all its sugary ghoulishness without coming out on the other end with a mouth full of cavities. Here are some tips from dentists in Clearwater for parents of trick-or-treat-age kids on how to survive Halloween without cavities.
Candy is candy, right?
Not even close. Though it is true that most candies are loaded with refined sugars and/or high fructose corn syrups, not all of them do. And, not all candies that contain these things are necessarily all that bad for teeth. In fact, there are some candies that are actually pretty good for teeth. And, of those candies that aren’t necessarily good for teeth, there are some that are better than others. First, many sugarless gums and candies can actually be pretty good for teeth. Now, if you’re thinking you’ll never be able to get your kids to eat sugarless candies, think again. Many of today’s manufacturers of sugarless candies have answered the call to produce better-tasting sugarless treats. In fact, there are some sugarless candies today, including many that contain chocolate, that are quite delicious and taste no different from the sugary kinds that can ruin your kids’ teeth. One reason sugarless candies are better for teeth is because they don’t produce as much of the bad bacteria that candies with refined sugars will in your child’s mouth. Another reason is because they help to keep the mouth well-hydrated with that all-important saliva that helps to wash away bad bacteria. So what of the sugary candies… are some better for teeth than others? You bet! Dark chocolate, for instance, can be beneficial to teeth because of its high nutrient content and even its antibacterial compounds. Additionally, many candy bars that contain nuts are better for teeth than those without nuts, not only because of the nutritional value contained in the nuts, but also because the nuts within the chocolate help to break down the refined sugars, thereby reducing the bad bacteria.
Halloween doesn’t have to be all or nothing
The good news for parents about Halloween is that you don’t have to make your kids choose between a Halloween filled with tons of sugary candies, or a Halloween that might as well just be another boring day. Your children don’t have to forego all that Halloween fun and candy goodness just because you don’t want them to spend the rest of the year dealing with the tooth decay that invaded their mouths during this otherwise fun-filled holiday. The best thing you can do as a parent at Halloween is to do what parents are supposed to do… teach them about moderation. Left to their own devices, your kids may scarf down an entire pillow case filled with sugar in one night. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep them from their fun. Just set some limits, not only on the amount of candy they eat, but also on which candies they eat. If you know your kids love the gooey kinds of candies that stick to their teeth like gummy worms and caramels, limit these especially, and make sure they brush after eating them.
Halloween is supposed to be enjoyable. It’s just one day a year kids get to do what kids do best… have fun. It shouldn’t be a day that causes tooth decay for the rest of their lives. Of course, as a parent, that’s where you come in. Getting your children through Halloween without added cavities doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, if you put a few of the above tips from dentists in Clearwater into action, you’ll find that this Halloween, and all subsequent Halloweens, will be almost as enjoyable for you as it is for your children. For, by putting to use these suggestions from Clearwater dentists, you’ll be able to do what parents should at Halloween… enjoy getting involved in all the fun your kids have this time of year.