As Halloween creeps up the calendar, Dentist in Newberg Dr. Jennifer McLeod and her team at Newberg Family Dental encourage patients to get ready to manage candy for good dental health. It’s important to consider a strategy for handling the pounds of Halloween candy that will decorate your dining room table once the kids have finished Trick or Treating!
Wisely Choose Halloween Candy
Believe it or not, candy is not all created equal when it comes to good dental care. As you and your children pick through the Trick or Treat loot, try to get your kids to eat the candy that can be chewed easily and melts quickly. Avoid chewy and overly gooey candy, like caramels, that stick on the surfaces of teeth and leads to increased tooth decay. Of course, if Halloween candy is made xylitol, a natural sweetener, than that would be ideal.
Skip Grazing on Halloween Candy
Keeping a pile of Halloween candy on the dining room table will only encourage everyone to graze on it. This keeps sugars in contact with the surfaces of the teeth and gums for longer periods of time, which can lead to increased tooth decay.
Avoid allowing everyone to graze on Halloween candy by dividing it up into piles for each person and then a larger pile to hide away for upcoming days as a small treat after dinner. Once kids are done with their piles on Halloween night, then they are done with candy.
Set a Time Limit for Halloween Treats
Halloween treats aren’t meant to last forever. Set a time limit for eating Halloween candy, whether that’s eating a piece or two after dinner or packing one of the treats in their lunchboxes to enjoy at school. The important point is to limit the amount of sugar your child eats once Halloween is over.
After a few days of eating the rest of the Halloween candy, consider donating it to your child’s teacher for classroom rewards or give it to your church or a community group.
Tricks for Dealing with Halloween Night
There are many ways to help your kids with sugar shock and avoid gum disease on Halloween.
- Make sure your kids eat plenty of protein throughout the day before heading out Trick or Treating, including a filling dinner.
- Provide glasses of water or milk for your kids to drink to wash away some of the sugar.
- Give your kids sugar-free gum, which will help stimulate saliva flow that also neutralizes acid.
- Once Trick or Treating is done, have your kids brush their teeth with a new toothbrush.
Once Halloween is over, schedule an appointment with Newberg dentist Dr. Jennifer McLeod. Call Newberg Family Dental at t (503) 278-4281 for your personal appointment!