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November 1, 2017
The annual wild and crazy night of costumes and candy is over for another year and all that’s left is the loot bag; an astounding collection of confectionery ready to be consumed by your children over the next few days, or perhaps weeks. You may even find a way to snag a few of those treats for yourself, provided the kids aren’t keeping too close an eye on that inventory.
From your dentist’s perspective, there’s typically everything in that bag from treats that are notoriously nasty to barely acceptable. It’s rare to find much that is even remotely healthy.
So, what’s does responsible parenting look like when facing the sugar monster at Hallowe’en? Here are a few tips to help your child weather this annual assault on their teeth and gums.
1. First discuss with your child what is acceptable and what is better to be avoided. When considering their oral health, a general rule of thumb is to toss the sticky, super-sweet taffies, caramels and the acidic sour gummies and lollipops. The potato chips and chocolate are typically a better choice to keep, as they dissolve more easily and have less sugar.
2. Many parents are choosing to offer trade-ins for the most offending candy treats contained in their child’s Hallowe’en loot. A buy-back, if you will. Perhaps offer a monetary reward or exchange for a desired toy or favourite destination when the most offending treats are turned over.
3. Add extra tooth brushing time, best done immediately after candy intake. Make it part of the trade-off in permitting the inevitably of above normal candy consumption in the days following Hallowe’en. More tooth brushing means those harmful sugars and acids don’t linger in between vulnerable teeth and gums. As always, monitor this as much as possible to ensure the brushing is done properly.
Follow these tips and Halloween can become a great teachable opportunity to encourage responsible ways of maintaining their oral health. Happy Hallowe’en everyone!