Halloween is just around the corner, and most children will be donning their costumes and going door-to-door to collect their sugary sweets. While this tradition may be fun for kids, it can wreak havoc on their teeth.
Most parents don't want to prevent their child from participating. However, there is nothing wrong with monitoring the situation. Here are three tips to let your children partake in this custom but protect their teeth as much as possible.
1. Sort Their Candy
For safety reasons, most parents sort through their child's haul before allowing them to consume anything. As you go through their candy, remove any candy that is extra hard on the teeth. Sticky, chewy candies are the worst culprits. Take out items like caramels and taffy, which can damage fillings and crowns as well as get in the tiny spaces between teeth.
And while fruit snacks may seem like a healthy treat, their consistency is also notorious for becoming lodged between teeth. Gummy bears, worms, and other creatures should be removed as well for the same reason.
Be sure to let your child know ahead of time that they won't be allowed to keep all of their candy to prevent a post trick-or-treat meltdown. The last thing you want on your hands is a screaming, sugar-driven tantrum to deal with.
2. Dole Out Their Candy
Left to their own devices, most children won't exercise moderation and will eat their candy until they are practically overdosing on sugar. You can help teach the importance of moderation by offering your child a few pieces of their candy at one time each day rather than allowing them unfettered access. Give the candy to your child after they have eaten and their bellies are full as this will reduce the likelihood they will beg for more.
3. Insist on Immediate Dental Hygiene
As soon as your child is done eating their pieces of candy, march them off to the bathroom to thoroughly floss and brush their teeth. If they are younger, you may need to help or supervise them to make sure that they are flossing and brushing their teeth correctly.
When they have finished brushing their teeth, encourage them to drink a glass of water. A glass of water will rinse away any sugar on their teeth that your child may have missed.
For more information, contact a family dentistry service in your area.