It’s that time of year again! Kids are excited to dress up, go door-to-door trick or treating and scoring loads of candy. It’s a fact that Americans spend over $2 billion on Halloween candy a year? That’s over 600 million pounds of candy!
And while the majority of the candy is not for themselves, but other people’s children, candy is everywhere around this time of year. If your children are part of the 40+ million trick or treaters on Halloween, they’ll likely come home with enough candy for your entire household to last several months.
Here are a few great tips to ensure that your child enjoys a healthy Halloween and has healthy teeth now and in the future.
- Hold onto the bag: If your child holds onto the bag of candy, you won’t be able to control how much they eat. So parents should hold onto it and keep it in a place where the children can’t access it. Inform your child of this prior to trick-or-treating, so they know the ground rules.
- Moderation Is key: After trick-or-treating, set a specific treat time with your child for when they can eat candy, limiting it to 1-2 treats per day. It’s more harmful to eat candy or drink sugary beverages throughout the day, as this is constantly putting sugar in their mouth.
- Avoid the biggest culprits: We all know some candy is worse than others. Examples of these include candy with very high sugar content, sticky candy, gooey candy, taffy, lollipops, and gummy candy. Treats that are less harmful to teeth include chocolate, sugar-free gum, and pretzels.
- Talk about health eating and good oral hygiene: Your child will likely ask many questions about why you have set rules for eating candy. This is a great time to talk about candy, brushing their teeth, and eating healthy.
- Give it away: Your child doesn’t need all that candy. What to do with the extra? You can give it away. Have your child decide and be involved, it can be a fun, educational experience for them as well! You can bring it to a local charity, mission, church, or school.
We want you and your families to enjoy this time of year! We also want our patients to learn how to properly care for their teeth, have healthy eating habits, and have smiles they can be proud of for years to come!