Halloween is the time of year when some parents get concerned about cavities. After all, there is a lot of candy going around. Luckily, there are a few things that you can do as a parent to minimize the oral health issues that may arise while still ensuring that your children are able to enjoy this particular holiday.
Fill Your Child with a Nutritious Dinner
To ensure your child's candy cravings are curbed prior to heading out for trick-or-treating, serve a filling and nutritious dinner. If your child has a full stomach, they will be less inclined to stuff their mouth full of sugar that is picked up throughout the night trick-or-treating.
Encourage Your Child to Share
Sharing is always a good thing, and it is important that your child take part in this. While there are always numerous opportunities to get your child on-board with sharing, Halloween serves as a great chance as well. Encourage your children to share their candy with children that are not as fortunate as them—the ones that may not have been able to get as much or the ones that may not have even been able to go out at all. In doing so, you are teaching your child the value of sharing and generosity—indirectly reducing the number of sweet, sugary treats in your home.
Don't Allow Candy Outside of Your Main Room
Many children will want to take their candy haul from the night straight to their bedrooms; this is a terrible idea. If you allow your child to do this, there is a good chance that the candy will be devoured in a single night or a couple of days at max. After a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating, make sure that all the family's candy stash comes to the living room or kitchen so you can ensure that no one will be tempted to snack on sugar at various hours of the night.
Offer Non-Candy Treats
If you hand out candy to trick-or-treaters from your own home, you have the perfect opportunity to show your children the importance of oral hygiene by offering the trick-or-treaters non-candy alternatives. Rather than handing out sugary candy, you can hand out stickers and small toys. Or, you could opt for small bags of trail mix, pretzels, or popcorn.
While the aforementioned tips will help minimize the risk of cavities throughout the Halloween season, it is imperative that your child still visit a children's dentist every six months—or more frequently, if necessary.