Halloween means candy — and lots of it. Here’s how to keep the kids (or yourself) from overloading on sugar.
Munching on candy all day keeps sugar on your teeth all day. Let kids eat sweet treats with meals or right after meals, when saliva production increases, which helps rinse away food particles. Kids should brush within 30 minutes of snacking or at least rinse with water so sugar isn’t coating their teeth.
CONSIDER GIVING OUT OTHER TREATS
If you’re handing out treats, go for kid-friendly goodies such as sugar-free gum made with xylitol, which promotes the growth of tooth protective bacteria. Or try other food treats such as pretzels or small toys (make sure they’re not choking hazards) like bouncy balls, glow sticks and stickers for trick-or-treating fun minus the sugar.
SKIP HARD OR STICKY CANDIES
Hard candies, caramel, taffy and gummy bears are some of the absolute worst for teeth. Unless it’s sugar-free, anything that’s in contact with teeth for a long time or that sticks to teeth gives cavity-causing bacteria more time to work.
LET THEM EAT CHOCOLATE
Let kids indulge sensibly. Surprisingly, chocolate is a good option because it washes off teeth more easily than other kinds of candy.
STAY ON TRACK WITH CHECKUPS
If your child has missed a regular checkup this year, get back on track and schedule one right away. And, of course, make sure kids brush at least twice a day and floss daily.