Halloween is over and like many of us there is still candy floating around everywhere we turn. It may be hard to steer clear of those bite-sized treats but here’s some ways you can minimize tooth decay and really perform tooth care after Halloween!
- Steer clear of the worst treats: Plain chocolate isn’t as bad as say, sour candies, gummies, or those hard candies that children suck on for a long time. Consider how long the sugar stays on the teeth and whether there’s acid that can also contribute to sensitivity.
- Avoid snacking: The longer the sugar is in contact with teeth, the worse the damage. It’s not the quantity of sugar that does the damage; it’s the time! So, don’t let children snack on sugar all day. Instead, allow them some candy after dinner, and make sure that they brush afterwards.
- Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF: UNICEF has found a way to curtail candy consumption, and direct children’s trick-or-treating for good instead. Have all the fun of trick-or-treating but gather change for charity instead. Learn more here.
- Donate candy: There are many programs that collect Halloween candy and send it in care packages to troops overseas instead. Most of these programs will do a buy-back system that offer toys or cash in exchange for candy. Here’s one example. Search and see if you can find a drop-off location near you!
- Trade-in at home: If there are no options for candy trade-ins nearby, set it up yourself at home. Create a shop where children can buy fun toys and treats that they really want, using their Halloween candy as payment. Not only will this limit the amount of sugar they consume, but it can also introduce them to smart financial management.
- Set a time limit: Many parents handle Halloween candy by allowing children a day or two of indulgence, then repossessing any remaining Halloween candy. This candy is either to be eked out at a reasonable rate, or saved for future purposes. Consider freezing leftover candy, and then using it for shakes and baking during the holiday season. You could also add leftover candy to the Thanksgiving table, or put together little gift packages for Christmas.
No matter which options you choose be sure to be aware of tooth care after Halloween!
For more articles on dental health, see our main blog