Of course you want your children to enjoy dressing up and getting into the Halloween spirit but how do you stop this sugar-filled celebration turning into a dental nightmare?
Take control of the treats
- Cook up a flavoursome feast before your eager witches and wizards head out on their treat finding quest. A satisfying meal will fill them up and hopefully make them less likely to eat too many of those tempting treats.
- Try to ration any collected candy by letting little ones enjoy only a small helping each day. It’s also best if you restrict sweet eating to mealtimes.
Treat teeth kindly
If you’re handing out treats, safeguard young teeth by trying the following:
- Give little visitors toys instead of sweets (but make sure they are age appropriate).
- Choose sugar-free sweeties for a tasty, yet tooth-friendly, treat.
- Offer to buy back sweets and exchange for a less sugary reward, such as a trip to the cinema or a new toy.
Protect their pearly whites
If your children do overindulge, make sure you give their teeth a good brush afterwards. This will help to get rid of bacteria-filled plaque which can create tooth-harming acid when it reacts with sugar.
Your trick or treaters will probably be well past the baby and toddler stage, so try out these tips for keeping older kids’ teeth clean at this time of year:
- If a toothbrush is not readily available, encourage youngsters to drink water after eating sweets as it will help wash away the sugar.
- If still under seven, your children may need a helping hand with teeth cleaning and, even if they’re older, you should still check they are brushing properly. Use a fluoride toothpaste but if your child is under seven, make sure it’s only a pea-sized amount.
- Brush (or let them brush) for two to three minutes for smooth, sparkly teeth.
- Make tooth brushing fun by using a novelty timer or singing a Halloween themed song.
- It’s a good idea not to rinse with water after cleaning teeth as it can wash away all the tooth-friendly fluoride, so encourage your child to simply spit out the toothpaste.
There are ways you can cope with the onslaught of sweets on 31st October but remember, it is only one day of the year so try not to worry too much. Just keep an eye on how many sweets are being consumed (if possible) and give teeth a good clean before your children head off to bed.