Halloween will most certainly look different this year, but Halloween treats are sure to be a part of the festivities. It’s natural to be concerned about your child’s candy consumption after they’ve collected a slew of sugary sweets, but by keeping a healthy attitude of “all things in moderation”, the holiday can be fun for all. Here are some things to keep in mind this time of year:
Know your child and set limits accordingly
If your child naturally self regulates their candy consumption, you’re definitely ahead of the game. Most kids, however, will need help with guidelines or even strict limits. In some families, it may make sense for parents to store the candy out of reach and designate times when they are able to enjoy it.
Food and water help
Drinking water after eating candy can rinse some sugar from teeth and help prevent tooth decay. The AAPD recommends tap water, which contains fluoride. Excess saliva produced when we eat food helps wash the sugar off of our teeth as well, so serving candy around a meal may help.
Don’t forget to brush
On Halloween night (and as long as their candy lasts), encourage your child to do some extra brushing, flossing and swish with a fluoride mouth rinse. You may want to supervise your little ones to make sure they’re getting all their teeth!
Avoid the worst candy offenders
Not all sweet treats are created equal. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) created the helpful Candy Sorter Grid below to show the different rankings of Halloween candy, from treats to avoid to best choices. Sticky, gooey candies are not as good as chocolate or sugarless gum!
Keep your regular, routine dental visits
Make sure to have your child visit our practice every 6 months to help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early.
Keep it fun!
Don’t let stress over sugar consumption ruin the holiday. As long as it is done reasonably and in moderation, everyone can enjoy this time of year.
Sources: AAPD, ADA, Children’s National