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Top Halloween Candy Collecting Tips

ConfiDental Candy Tips

Dentists and hygienists often cringe at buckets full of candy being gathered and gobbled every Halloween, but we are not complete scrooges when it comes to this festive day.

We want to help you to protect your kid’s teeth and still allow them to enjoy Halloween fun.

To prevent GORGING on sugary candy, here are some helpful “parent-approved” hints before trick-or-treating.

  1. Sort the candy. When you are raiding your five-year-old’s candy bag at 2 in the morning, separate the stack into two parts. Place the taffy, the caramels, the gummy bears – anything that is sticky, chewy or sour – into the first pile. All of the other candy goes into the second pile (the “good” pile).
  2. Avoid the first pile. Dental cavities have a proven cause-and-effect relationship with extended exposure to sugary or sour substances. Oral bacteria thrive in this environment and convert these substances to acid which dissolves tooth surfaces and leads to cavities. So… better to indulge in a sweet treat that you chew and swallow quickly (e.g. chocolate bars), rather than those that you suck on or let dissolve in your mouth over a prolonged time.
  3. Have the “save some for later” talk. Discuss how they can have a few treats (ideally from the “good” pile), but then put the rest away for later. These days many health-conscious parents decide on an “exit plan” for the left-over Halloween candy. Some ideas include Halloween Candy Buy-Back events (like the one WE are having at our dental office), food banks, or other charities.
  4. Watch your family’s consumption of these sweet treats during this season. A great tip is to leave the candy wrappers in a visible area so that you remember how many of these ghoulish confections you’ve eaten. You can also set a limit beforehand on how much they collect on Halloween, or consume later.
  5. Chew sugar-free gum to help you ration your sweet intake. Ingredients like Xylitol and Sorbitol, low calorie sweeteners found in some gum, can actually be beneficial to your oral health. Research has shown that these sweeteners starve destructive bacteria, allowing your mouth to replenish minerals to your teeth. Get advice from your Dentist on the frequency and amount recommended.
  6. Talk to your kids about oral hygiene. This is a great time to reinforce the twice-a-day brushing routine and the daily ‘oh-so-dreaded flossing’ regime. Always remember, children will mostly do as they see. The most ideal scenario would be to brush after the consumption of candy. If that’s not possible, then encourage your child to eat the candy within a few minutes instead of snacking throughout the day, and then wash away some of the sugar by drinking a glass of water. And remember, Halloween is a great time to call your dentist and get the family scheduled for a check-up!
  7. Explain your healthy alternatives plan to your kids. If you do decide to limit their consumption of sugar-filled treats, try to relay a message like “eating too much candy is not part of your family’s healthy eating plan” or “lots of sweets is not good nutrition”.

Happy Halloween from all of us at ConfiDental – your dental family! Be safe and be smart.

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