Halloween is almost here! It’s the time of year where children and adults alike indulge in scary movies, spooky costumes and lots of candy. Gummies, chocolates, toffees … the list is endless! While these treats may taste good, their effects aren’t so sweet.
Check out our tips on maintaining a healthy smile this Halloween!
Choose Healthier Alternatives
The healthier choice doesn’t have to be boring! Choose sweets that have less of an effect on your pearly whites. The Ontario Dental Association also advises parents to save sweets for after meals, as saliva produced during this time can help protect children’s teeth.
Here’s a list of some options you can consider:
- Sugar-free lollies, hard candies and gum: Enjoying these sugar-free goodies can help increase saliva, preventing dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to cavities as plaque begins to build up quicker. Sugar-free gum also stimulates saliva, preventing tooth decay.
- Dark chocolate: See, chocolate can still be an option! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, which are great for the heart and for lowering blood pressure. As always with chocolate consumption, make sure it’s eaten in moderation as chocolates contain a lot of sugar – too much sugar can lead to tooth decay!
Try to avoid these cavity-causing candies (if this is difficult, try to reduce your intake):
- Chewy treats: Gummies and taffy are super popular this season. Unfortunately, their sticky consistency means they can easily get stuck between your teeth, making it difficult for saliva to remove. Trapped food in the crevices between teeth ultimately leads to cavities.
- Candy corn: Unfortunately, this fall favourite makes the list. Candy corn contains a lot of sugar- 19 pieces of candy corn contain a whopping 32 grams!
- Cookies and cakes: Like candy corn, these yummy treats are high in sugar – an enemy of cavity prevention!
- Sour candies: These candies have high acid levels that can break down tooth enamel. Make sure you take a sip of water to neutralize the acids, and wait at least 1 hour before brushing your teeth (so you don’t brush acid into your tooth surfaces).
Let’s not sugar-coat the truth: many of our favourite goodies aren’t so good for our teeth! Try to keep in mind the effects of the confections you consume. There are always healthier alternatives that can still taste good.
Don’t Stick to Candies
Part of the fun of Halloween is handing out sweets to little trick-or-treaters! Why not add a mix of small toys to your candy bowl? Try adding pirate eye-patches, felt clown noses and even spooky stickers that go with the theme! These sugarless treats will last a lot longer than any candy. You’ll be original and healthy!
A Sweet Lesson
Halloween could serve a great purpose in educating your little ones on the importance of oral hygiene. Along with enjoying sweets this season, try to incorporate a 15 minute oral hygiene activity before bedtime as part of your routine. See what they know – ask your child to teach you how to brush and floss! Add in any steps or habits they may miss. Then, join them in brushing and flossing. This makes dental care fun and a family activity. With time, you’ll notice you have a young master of brushing and flossing in your household!
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