If the thought of all that Halloween candy is sending shivers down your spine, you’re not alone! Halloween is one of the most popular holidays here in Canada, and the stores are already full of decorations and of course copious amounts of candy. As dentists in Oshawa, we definitely don’t promote regular consumption of the sweet stuff, but it’s unreasonable to expect kids not to indulge in a few treats on Halloween. However, with a bit of thought it’s possible to cut down on candy consumption without making your child feel deprived.
Sugar-Free Chewing Gum
Sugar-free chewing gum will not hurt teeth, and especially if you can find a brand containing xylitol which helps to reduce levels of harmful bacteria in the mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum can help to satisfy an urge for something sweet, and the action of chewing helps to stimulate saliva production. This is great for dental health in Whitby and especially after eating candy because the saliva helps to wash away loose pieces of food and some cavity-causing bacteria.
Make Smarter Choices about Sweet Treats
As far as candy goes, the most tooth-friendly choice is dark chocolate. It contains antioxidants and has less sugar compared with milk or white chocolate. However, if you don’t like dark chocolate, milk or white chocolate is a better choice compared with sticky or hard candies. Chocolate melts easily in the mouth making it harder for cavity-causing bacteria to stick to teeth.
Treats Can Be Savoury
Although Halloween is known as a holiday focused on candy, there’s no reason why you can’t have some savoury treats, and you might start a new tradition. Individually wrapped cheese sticks, vegetable chips, yogurts and crackers are all great alternatives to candy. Fresh veggies are another tooth-friendly solution, and baby carrots, bell peppers and sugar snap peas can be paired with a yogurt-based dip or hummus.
Opt for Nature’s Candy
Another choice is to opt for nature’s candy, otherwise known as fruit! Try sweet apple slices, bananas, clementines and grapes to satisfy a sweet tooth. You could also create a Halloween themed fruit platter, and there are plenty of ideas online for spooky-looking fruit, for example, apple mummies! While fruit does have natural sugars, it also contains lots of micronutrients.
Treats don’t need to be edible and temporary tattoos, stickers and close sticks or other trinkets are fun without harming teeth. Also, they are great for kids with braces and who really need to watch out what they eat on Halloween!
Have a Plan of Attack for Dealing with Excess Candy
These days, kids will often return with a sizeable haul of candy, so have a plan of attack in mind to deal with the excess. One approach is to sit down with your kids and to sort through their candy together. Ask them to pick out their favourites and set those aside and then consider donating the rest. Keep their favourite candy to one side and let them have a piece as part of the main meal. Eating candy with a meal is far less harmful than letting them snack on sweet treats between meals.
Don’t Forget to Schedule Regular Checkups and Cleanings at Margolian Dentistry
Regular dental checkups and cleanings in Ajax are the very best way to make sure your kid’s teeth stay strong and healthy. We always love seeing children, and regular dental exams allow us to detect any changes to their teeth more quickly. Also, dental education is a huge part of our practice, and we can talk to your child about the importance of dental care, so they grow up understanding why all that sugar is so harmful to teeth.