How to Have a Tooth-Friendly Halloween
Halloween will be here before we know it. There is a lot of hustle and bustle that happens in October to pull together costumes, decorate the house, and buy candy for trick-or-treaters. Here in the South, we never know if the weather will be mild or freezing. Then you also always have to figure out what day of the week does Halloween falls on this year. There are just so many things going on during the holidays!
But even though all that’s going on, you can’t forget to think about which candy will do the least amount of damage to your precious little children’s teeth. (Insert witch-y laugh here)
Now, at Halloween, we all know that the candy comes first. Second, as a parent, you need to make sure the candy is safe. And finally, you and your kids will need to protect yourselves from the scariest Halloween goblins of all–CAVATIES!
Should Inevitable Sweetness Scare You Or Just Be Spooky?
As a pediatric dentist’s office, one of the scariest (literally) times of the year for us is the holidays. We don’t want you to lose the hard work you’ve put into caring for your oral health. But, we also understand that candy is all a part of the season. Your kids will probably get their hands on some candy at one point or another around Halloween. Whether they get it at school or while trick-or-treating, you can at least be prepared with knowledge on what candies to allow and buy, as well as those to avoid or throw away.
Safe Candy to Keep
Sugar-free treats are always a good way to go. Thankfully, in this day and age, sugar-free candy is easier to come by, such as lollipops, gum, and hard candies. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has been proven to have antioxidants. While it is best to not go for large, caramel or nugat filled bars. Also, you shouldn’t be afraid of small, harder items like Hershey’s Kisses or dark chocolate Dove hearts–they’re both in the okay zone for candies.
Sugary Candy to Scare Away
A general rule of thumb for candy says to steer clear of rather sticky or chewy candies like taffy or caramels. Sticky candies tend to stick to the teeth longer and can more quickly result in tooth decay when leftover particles grab on between the teeth. And the longer these particles stick to your teeth, the more likely it is that you’ll develop tartar on your teeth.
Likewise, sour candies and treats with very high sugar content more quickly erode the teeth and also promote tooth decay. If a lollipop or hard candy is not sugar-free, having a sugary item linger in your child’s mouth is actually even worse for your teeth.
Tooth Tips for the Halloween Season
- Planning to eat sugary candy? Definitely skip the sugary drinks. It may be best not to double indulge on such a candy geared holiday. Double the scares don’t always mean double the fun.
- It’s not ideal to snack on candy and sweet treats throughout the day. Try planning sweets around mealtimes when your saliva production is increased to wash away bacteria and food particles so the scare factor is minimized.
- Drinking more water is a great way to help prevent tooth decay and wash away all that scary sugar.
- As always, brush twice daily and floss. Throw in some mouthwash too to scare aware the germs.
- Parents, you may keep your children’s candy under lock and key – to be given out when earned or deserved. Or for you to munch on when they’re not looking. (We won’t tell)
- Consider letting your kids choose their favorite candy to keep, and then donate the rest to organizations such as troops overseas or candy buy-back programs.
You wouldn’t want your children to resent you for ruining trick-or-treating by not allowing candy, and you DEFINITELY don’t want to be the Karen that takes it all away. No need to deprive anyone of a little holiday candy, but also use this time of year to continue teaching good oral health habits to your children. Halloween is simply a great opportunity to discuss healthy diets and how it is related to your body’s physical AND oral health. Also, if you have any questions about candy and braces or any other orthodontic appliances, feel free to give us a call at any of our Middle TN locations.
How Should I Handle Halloween if My Kids Have Braces?
As if we had to tell you–the oral investments we make for braces and retainers are worth time and money. Life during and after orthodontic treatment does not allow us, or our children, to become lazy when it comes to good dental hygiene. Instead, we have to fight harder for our oral well-being than we did before orthodontic treatment, even during the frightful fun of Halloween.
Fall is here, and the holidays are right around the corner. So, how do you follow all the rules that come with braces or retainers during Halloween? It’s easy! Follow all the same cleaning rules and eat all the sweets you want! Just make sure you choose the right ones, otherwise, you might be getting a seriously scary orthodontist’s bill in the near future.
Did You Know It’s National Orthodontic Health Month?
October is National Orthodontic Health Month. Surprising, right?
Well, we like to remind everyone to take care of you and your children’s teeth during this month when sugar starts creeping up in everyone’s diets.
Halloween With Braces
Overall, we want you and your children to know that braces do not mean the end of the world… even during the holidays. You just have to do a little more preparation. Dressing up for Halloween is half the fun anyway. But we all know that kids will be kids, and they will want candy. Even dentists can have a sweet tooth! If we take good care of our teeth, we can absolutely be rewarded with some holiday candy.
Eat It or Trash It! | Braces-Friendly Halloween Candy
There is no need to shelter yourself or your children from indulging in any Halloween traditions because there are multiple braces-friendly snacks for you to buy and your children to enjoy! Go for the soft and easy-to-chew varieties when picking out tasty treats. Do the neighborhood children a favor too and pass out some of these orthodontic-approved goodies on Halloween night, and no, that doesn’t mean “healthy snacks.”
- Peanut butter cups
- Hershey’s kisses
- Peppermint patties
- Pixy stix
What Candies Should We Avoid With Braces?
Hard or sticky and chewy sweets can get stuck in your mouth’s nooks and crannies that toothbrushes struggle to dig out. Plus, braces and these candies just do not agree! We generally say to avoid taffy, gum, and caramel, as well as hard pretzels, and nuts. Just remember to always brush, floss, and drink lots of water afterward.
Moms, you can always call us if you are unsure whether a sweet treat is a good idea or not, especially during October for National Orthodontic Health Month. A good rule of thumb is, “everything in moderation.” A lollipop or candy corn here and there may not be an issue, but make sure your children routinely keep a good dental hygiene regime after eating candy. No one wants to deal with cavities, or worse… tooth decay! Want more info? Browse our fun and informative blog – Tooth Talk!
Contact Your Orthodontist for Any Braces Problems
While you are scrambling to hand-make a costume or buy one that won’t break the bank, there is no use in worrying about broken brackets or wires. Request an appointment with us to prepare for the fall and winter months. On the off chance that your child does have a loose wire or breaks a bracket, please let us know as soon as possible. We are always more than happy to take care of any orthodontic issues.