Halloween is a holiday most children look forward to due to the mountains of candy, sweets and chocolates readily available. The possibilities are endless and the amount of candy up for grabs is mind-boggling.
Parents may feel slightly apprehensive at the thought of denying their child an experience that so many others are receiving. However, as a parent or a guardian, you are concerned with their health and safety. You understand that eating a kilo of sweets will most likely result in a tummy ache and a cavity, but children don’t always get the message. So, not wanting to be the mean parent, do you give in and allow them to turn the kitchen cupboards into a veritable sweet shop on 31st October?
Here are five tips for ensuring that your children can still experience the fun and thrill of Halloween, while maintaining healthy teeth.
– Introduce healthier versions of the sticky toffee candies, the multitude of chocolate bars, the sugary bubble gum and the sour boiled sweets. Look for candy that is made using natural ingredients and is free of artificial sweeteners and colors. Also, substitute normal candy for sugar-free sweets.
– Don’t allow sugar to fester. Cavities are caused by sugar that is left on the teeth and gums. Whenever your children dig into their Halloween goody bags, encourage proper dental hygiene by reminding them to brush their teeth afterwards. Brushing after eating sweets can prevent harmful bacteria from developing and causing cavities in your child’s mouth. However, it is important to wait at least an hour after the candy binge before you encourage any brushing, as brushing straight after eating can damage the weakened tooth enamel, causing more harm than good.
– Introduce healthier alternatives to candy. Don’t be afraid to replace sweets with all-natural fruit snacks, dried fruits and even raw fruits and vegetables like apples and carrot batons.
– Keep candy out of the picture. Although it is tradition, there is no set rule stating that Halloween goody bags must be filled with candy. Invest in small bouncy balls, stickers, pads and pens and toys instead.
– Take precautions. Another, increasingly popular method to prevent unhealthy smiles after Halloween is to let your child visit the dentist beforehand. At the dentist, sealants can be put in your child’s mouth to protect the grooves of their teeth and prevent corrosion and cavities.
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