Halloween is a fun time of year for all the family. Kids especially love traditions like trick-or-treating, when they can collect sweet treats from the neighbours. It's important that you do not spoil the occasion by worrying too much about the effect that sweets can have on your kids' teeth. However, you can still help protect their teeth while allowing them to enjoy the traditions of Halloween. Here are some useful tips to help you to do this.
Provide smaller buckets or bags
Kids love to continue trick or treating until their bag or bucket is full. It makes sense to choose smaller containers, so that they don’t have the chance to collect a truckload of sweets.
Keep control of the sweet treats
Some kids are sensible about the amount of sweets that they eat. However, if your kids are not able to regulate their sweet eating on their own, it's up to you to take control. Allow your kids to eat some of the sweets they collect straight away, but then store the rest for eating at a later date.
If your kids continually snack on sweets throughout the day it means that the levels of acidity in their mouths spike on many occasions. There is also no opportunity for their mouths to recover in between. This can be extremely damaging to teeth. For this reason, don’t allow your kids to continually snack on the sweets that they gather at Halloween.
Make the sweets a dessert
Eating a meal boosts the production of saliva in the mouth. This saliva contains proteins and minerals that help to protect tooth enamel and limit the risk of tooth decay. For this reason it makes sense to teach your kids that the best time to have sweets is as a dessert after a meal.
Have some water ready
Water that contains fluoride helps to strengthen teeth and prevent tooth decay. Therefore encourage your kids to rinse their mouths with water after they have had their portion of sweets.
Offer a swap for some sweets
If your kids collect a lot of sweets on Halloween, you may want to consider offering a swap for some of them. This could be anything from a favourite magazine to a computer game or a trip out.
Make sure they brush their teeth
Just as usual, your kids should brush their teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time; once in the morning and once before bed. If they have been eating Halloween treats, it's important that they wait an hour before brushing. This is because the saliva needs to have time to work effectively and this will not happen if it's brushed away.
To sum up
Halloween should be a fun occasion for your kids, so you shouldn’t spoil it by fussing too much over them collecting too many sweets. However, it's important that you control the eating of these sweets and when it happens.
You should also make sure that your kids have a good dental hygiene routine - on Halloween and every other day throughout the year.
Following these tips will help to keep your kids' teeth protected on Halloween, even if their trick- or-treating is successful. Happy Halloween!
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