mom and toddler trick or treating

9 Ways to Get Through Halloween With a Healthy Smile

If you’re concerned that the upcoming Halloween festivities will set your dental health in disarray, you’re not alone.

Many parents dread the festivities, simply because it can be detrimental to their kids’ dental health. The following tips for getting through Halloween with a healthy smile are easy to put into practice today.

1. Getting Into Healthy Dental Habits

Healthy oral habits should be taught from an early age to prioritize your child’s dental health, it’s unlikely to be a big deal during the holidays. If you are traveling or attending parties always focus on the importance of healthy habits, and be consistent.

Make teeth brushing the first thing to do after getting out of bed, and the last thing the kids think about at night. Show them that, as an adult, you care about your own dental hygiene, too. And if they need reminders or special encouragement, schedule teeth-brushing times together.

2. Have the Candy Talk

Yes, it’s okay to be vocal about how you dislike the fact that some candy can cause tooth decay. It’s also okay to let your kids know your sweet preferences.

Talk about how not all candy is made equal. Some, such as hard caramel chews, pose more risk. They can knock out, or loosen fillings very easily. If your kids come home with a huge candy collection, help them decide which ones to try, and which ones are okay to let go of or give away.

3. Quality, Not Quantity

This may be a tough one, as kids can easily go for anything that is wrapped in shiny paper—even if it doesn’t taste so great. That’s why some doctors even recommend allowing your kids to experience or taste better-quality sweets.

Dark chocolate, for example, is a better alternative for holiday nibbles than sticky licorice-laced and chemical-infused lollipops. If you happen to keep a Halloween candy bowl at home, stock it more nutritional value. Go for treats like dark chocolates, or fresh fruits.

4. Swishing Regularly

One easy way to keep your teeth white and cavity-free is to regularly swish. Teach all of your family members to swish after each meal or snack. A few minutes spent doing this will save you years of painful dental problems, and possibly a lot of budget on medical expenses!

5. Look Out for Other Hidden Culprits

Remember that candy isn’t the only culprit. Be aware of other foods that cause tooth decay. Fruit juices can pack plenty of sugar as can snack bars and most energy bars. Honey may be a more natural alternative to processed sugar, but it’s still sticky, sweet, and a sure cause of cavity development.

Get your kids into eating more healthy snacks at home. Introduce crunchy raw fruits and some veggies such as carrot sticks, eaten with a yummy dip. Try making your own hummus at home, or go for unsweetened peanut butter on toast.

6. Moderation is Key

Some parents attempt to ban all candies at home, but this just might backfire. The more curious your child is about the “forbidden” sweets, the more likely he or she is to sneak it anyway. And remember, there’s no avoiding sugary sweets.

Your kids will have access to them, no matter where they are: in school, on holidays, in a movie theater with friends. The best thing to do as parents is to strive for balanced nutrition. Halloween can be one of the exceptions where kids are allowed more candy than usual, but then they should be encouraged to spend extra time brushing their teeth!

7. Get Advise from Other Folks

You’re not in this alone! It can be helpful to talk about the Halloween dilemma with other parents or childcare professionals. When you feel frustrated, or worried that things are about to get out of hand during the holidays, talk it over with someone else.

Be encouraged that dental hygiene is a universal challenge. Do the best you can to keep your smile and mouth healthy, and your kids might just follow in your footsteps.

8. A Balanced Diet

If you try to be consistent with balanced meals at home, then a few days out of the year aren’t going to be disastrous. It’s possible for your kids to crave healthier foods, and when they do, you should encourage this. Healthy eating habits are a good strategy for long-term wellness.

9. Dental Checkups Before and After Halloween

Regular dental checkups will help to put your mind at ease. Having a professional look after your child’s teeth is one of the best things you can do to combat the holiday season’s setbacks.

Going to school with healthy habits will make it easier to develop lifelong ones. Plus, getting your kids used to check-ups and visits with the dentist will make it easier if ever they need more serious dental work done.

Your Dental Health Partners provide both preventative and cosmetic care for folks of all ages. Feel free to call us at any time for a consultation, or to schedule an appointment with our health professionals.

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