Pediatric Dentist Tips for Managing Halloween Candy
Expert Tips For Managing Halloween Candy Loot
5 Effective Ways to Prevent Dental Issues for Your Kids
Halloween can be an incredibly stressful time for parents with kids who will go trick or treating. But it’s not just the costume preparation and all the planning that make All Hallow’s Eve a big concern. Parents also worry about all the sweets that the little ones will consume once they get home from their rounds of the neighborhood. There’s always the high likelihood of tummy-aches the following day, and of course, the increased risk of cavities forming after the binge. The solution is not to simply eat it all when they are off to bed.
The Pediatric Dentists at Surfside Kids Dental have smart advice for parents when it comes to managing Halloween candy so that kids can avoid unwanted cavities. Five of these tips are provided below. Plus, one bonus tip for our friends in Sacramento and Elk Grove, CA.
- Negotiate the amount of candy they’re allowed to consume. Tell the young ones that there’s no need to consume all the candy all at once. First of all, candy won’t spoil easily; secondly, it’s good to have a stash for when they are extra well behaved. We’re not saying bribe your children but certainly negotiate fair terms for candy consumption.
- Give specific instructions on oral care. Set the time they’re allowed to eat a portion of their candy haul. Also, discuss what time they’re supposed to brush their teeth, how long they should brush, and how many glasses of water they should drink to wash away all the sugar bugs and the lingering sweetness in their mouth.
- Be more deliberate with oral care after Halloween. Monitor kids’ consumption and then use “disclosing tablets’ to spot bacterial plaque on teeth. The stains created by the tablet will reveal just how much more consistent and thorough you should be in monitoring the little ones’ oral care routine. It’s best to teach the kids to include a fluoride rinse in their routine, too.
- Make brushing fun for the kids. Play their favorite song which they can brush to, and reward them for doing a good job especially after eating a lot of candy. Alternatively, in exchange for brushing their teeth really well, you can trade some of the candy with other things they like such as games, stationery, accessories, and others.
- Encourage sugarless gum chewing after eating Halloween candy. This will stimulate saliva production and help get rid of sugar acids (that weaken tooth enamel) in the mouth. Chewing gum is also a good way to while away time as you all wait 30 minutes until the kids can brush their teeth.
Last but not least, contact your local pediatric dentist to see if they offer a Halloween candy buyback program. At Surfside Kids Dental we have been doing this for years and kids really enjoy it. Bring your kids to our Sacramento or Elk Grove Pediatric Dental Office with their unopened Halloween candy and we will BUY IT BACK for $1 per pound!
All candy will be sent to Operation Gratitude in Van Nuys, CA. They will make individual holiday packages for our troops overseas.
Finally, don’t let the fear of cavities spoil your kids’ Halloween fun. Just manage their consumption of sweets and their oral care habits and you won’t have to worry much about dental issues through the holidays.
Looking forward to surfing with you soon!