Trick or treat? Tips for a healthy Halloween
There’s an abundance of pumpkin spiced treats and a chill in the air. This can only mean one thing – Halloween is around the corner! For most kids this means fun costumes and a chance to build a stockpile of sweet treats for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can presents parents with a variety of health challenges. Simcoe Dental Group is here to help! Here are some ways you can help your children stay mouth-healthy during Halloween and year-round.
- Meet the Switch Witch
The switch witch is a friendly way of trading a bag of treats for a special surprise. On Halloween night at bedtime, kids leave a heap of their trick-or-treat sweets with their Switch Witch pal . . . . . and in the morning they will see that their candy has been switched (wink! wink!) for a special switch gift! Visit: http://switch-witch.com
- Time It Right
Eat Halloween treats (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles. Avoid using treats as snacks between meals, instead opt for healthy options like cheese and crackers, veggie sticks with cream cheese or nuts and seeds.
- Choose Treats Carefully
Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Aside from how often you snack, the length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a major role in tooth decay. Sucking on a hard candy for 30 mins will promote new cavities.
- Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky treats cling to your teeth. The stickier treats, like toffee and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
- Keep it Clean
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste and soft-bristled toothbrush. Kids should be using an age-appropriate fluoride toothpaste from 2 years. From 7 years they can use an adult toothpaste. Clean between your teeth with floss every night. Decay-causing bacteria get between teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach.
- Visit Your Dentist
Regular visits to your dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to “treat.”
Adapted from: American Dental Association, Mouth Healthy