It’s that time of year again! Time to take the kids to a fall festival or even go door to door trick or treating around the neighborhood. Every year it’s the one night that children get to dress as their favorite superhero, princess, or other character and have a ton of fun doing it. In other words, Halloween is a fun night for all. However, as a parent concerned about your child’s dental health, you know that all of that fun (and the pile of candy that goes along with it) can be detrimental to your child’s oral health.
It may seem as though Halloween was made for creating cavities, but this holiday is about much more than just filling a trick-or-treat bucket to the brim with candy. If you’re worried about cavities, make sure your kids have a healthy, fun-filled Halloween by shifting the focus away from sweets.
Set Some Ground Rules
Before the trick-or-treating begins, sit down with your kids and convey what you have in mind for the evening. You can set a time limit or establish the number of houses your children can visit. Whatever candy they collect in that time is theirs to keep. Or, give your children smaller bags and allow trick-or-treating to continue until they’re filled. You can also let your kids keep all the candy from trick-or-treating, but limit their consumption to one piece per day (or whatever limit you choose to set). Lastly, you can introduce the concept of a candy swap or trading in pieces for non-candy rewards. Set a certain number of pieces as the price for different toys or activities.
Attend Other Festivities Besides Trick or Treating
Halloween doesn’t have to be about collecting candy. You can have other fun family traditions instead, so the candy becomes less important. Try going to a pumpkin patch that might have games, arts and crafts, and even a hayride. You could make it a scary family movie night and watch Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family, Caspar, or the Halloweentown series. Or, you can make a night out of making fun, healthy Halloween-themed foods.
Use Halloween as a Teachable Moment
Every kid enjoys eating candy. And on Halloween, that can’t always be avoided. So, instead of not allowing your children to trick or treat, you can use this as a teachable moment. Halloween is a great time to teach your children the importance of moderation, sharing, and brushing & flossing your teeth. While we know it’s tough for children to control themselves sometimes, introducing the idea of moderation at a young age will not only improve your child’s oral health but will help them in many other walks of life, as well. If your child already has a lot of candy in their goodie bag, encourage them to share it with someone who has less than them. This isn’t just an excellent strategy for reducing the size of the “candy avalanche” you’ll see in your house later, but it will also help you teach your child the value of giving to others. And finally, since you know that your child is consuming a larger-than-usual quantity of sugary foods, we believe it is imperative to make sure they brush their teeth well on Halloween night.
We recommend bringing your child to the dentist every six months, but if you become worried about cavities between these visits, feel free to stop by anytime for a teeth cleaning and dental exam. Here at Aqua Springs Dental in San Marcos Texas, we’ll check for tooth decay and other problems that could affect your child’s oral health. For more tips to prevent cavities this Halloween or schedule your child’s next dentist appointment, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today!