Halloween seems to kick off a two-month long season of eating, and too many sweet treats during this time can wreck your child’s oral health. It’s important for parents to take steps to protect their children’s smiles during the holiday season.
Of course, Halloween is the biggest offender and a major concern for your children’s dentist. With children bringing home pounds and pounds of “treats,” they can be susceptible to serious “tricks” being played by bacteria on their smile. Parents must regulate their children’s consumption of the candy in their haul. Limit pieces to one per day and make sure that your child brushes or at least rinses his or her mouth after eating that candy. Also encourage your child to choose chocolates, which have some health benefits and are less detrimental to the teeth and gums than hard candies that dissolve slowly or sticky treats that may cling to the teeth for some time afterward.
Consider the health of your neighbors’ children when selecting the treats that you will hand out, as well. You can always go the non-candy route, either with small toys or items like potato chips or pretzels. If you prefer to give away candy, stick to chocolate items, preferably without sticky substances like caramel.
Halloween is probably the greatest concern for your children’s dentist, but other holidays can present potential pitfalls, too. Your family likely has a number of dessert options at Thanksgiving dinner, and your child may tempted to taste test them all. Again, setting limits will help your child’s smile. Ask your child to choose one dessert to have with dinner and perhaps another to enjoy on another day.
Christmas candy can also be problematic, so fill your child’s stocking with healthy snacks and small toys and stick to just a few pieces of good candy. If your children and their friends are playing dreidel for Hanukkah, encourage them to use real coins instead of chocolate gelt, and permit them to have just one sufganiyah.
Don’t let the holidays be a drag on your child’s oral health. Be proactive in limiting children’s access to candy and other sweet treats. Talk to one of our knowledgeable staff members for more tips on balancing celebrations with a healthy smile. Call us at Dental Depot today!