For kids, one of the best nights of the year is Halloween. After all, they get to dress as their favorite scary character or favorite cartoon character and walk around the neighborhood collecting bags and buckets of delicious candy. Unfortunately, all that sugar can lead to cavities and oral health problems. In order to limit the amount of harm caused by eating lots of sugar, our children’s dentist in Palm Harbor developed some tips and tricks to limit your child’s candy intake this season.

1. Consider Purchasing Candy As Well As Other Fun Items

Children and adults love Halloween because it can be considered a good excuse to eat as much candy as you and your kids want, and it all starts with purchasing candy to hand out to the kids who come to your door. If you’re like most families, you’ll eat a lot of that candy before Halloween night. Instead of purchasing all candy, consider purchasing candy and other items that are not food. Our dentist in Palm Harbor recommends purchasing tiny and low-cost activity books, packs of stickers, and other fun items to hand out along with candy. You’ll not only be doing your kids a favor, but you’ll also be helping the neighborhood kids eat less candy.

2. Inspect All Your Kids' Candy For Tampering And Remove The Worst Candy

Some types of candy are worse for your kids’ oral health than other types of candy. At the end of the night, as you inspect every piece of candy for tampering and safety, remove the worst candy, including hard candy and candy that is extra chewy and sticky, like anything with caramel or cream fillings, taffy, and gummy bears.

3. Limit Your Children’s Candy Intake

Instead of handing your kid’s bags and buckets back to them after you inspect it, consider handing out only a few pieces of candy. Our dentist recommends giving your kids no more than five pieces of candy on Halloween night. This will satisfy their excitement and limit their sugar intake. For the rest of the week, only give them a couple of pieces of candy a day.

4. Consider Acting Like The Switch Witch

The Switch Witch trades candy for toys, and it can be a tradition in your household. While the traditional Switch Witch involves contacting a Switch Witch online prior to Halloween, you don’t need to visit the website or create an email to be your own magic candy switcher. Simply purchase a few Halloween themed toys in secret prior to the big night. Then, create excitement with your kids by telling them that a special Halloween guest will give them toys in relation to how much candy they collect. While your children are asleep, swap out most of their candy for fun toys.

5. Eat Candy After Meals

There are good and bad times to eat candy. The worst way to eat Halloween candy is to substitute it for breakfast. This is because the bacteria in your mouth and your kids’ mouths explode overnight, and adding candy can make the situation worse. Instead, consider allowing your kids a couple of pieces of candy after lunch or after dinner as a form of dessert. This is because there are already food particles on the teeth and saliva production has already increased, which can help reduce the amount of sugar that stays in the mouth.

6. Encourage Brushing After Eating Candy

Once your children have consumed their candy, encourage them to brush their teeth and floss 30 minutes after their last bite. This helps remove sugar and candy particles that may be sticking to your child’s teeth and help against wearing down their enamel. If you are out somewhere where your kids cannot immediately brush their teeth, have them drink a glass of water after eating their candy. This will help rinse sugar from their mouths.

Limit Sugar Intake After Halloween With a Pediatric Dental Checkup

After Halloween, consider scheduling a dental checkup and teeth cleaning with our children’s dentist in Palm Harbor. A dental checkup can locate cavities and tooth decay early so that it can be treated before it results in discomfort for your child. It also removes all the plaque and tartar from your child’s teeth and below the gum line. To schedule a dental appointment with our pediatric dentist, contact us online or call us at 727-786-7551.