Halloween is a horror movie for dental health, as kids (and adults) are assailed with all sorts of sweet treats. But there are ways to make taking care of your teeth part of the holiday fun. And in doing so, you can teach your kids an important message about their teeth.
Although dental professionals stress moderation with sugary treats, most discourage depriving kids of the Halloween experience. Treats shouldn’t be forbidden (that can create a lot of other issues)–kids just need to know that with them comes some responsibility.
So here are some tips for making Halloween manageable for your family’s teeth:
1. As you’re stocking up on trick or treat candy, also get new toothbrushes for everyone. You should changes brushes every 3-4 months, and having a new brush (picked out by each family member) reinforces the idea that brushing is an important part of Halloween.
2. Designate times for treats, followed immediately by brushing. No one should nosh on candy all day long (or too close to meals or bedtime), so pick times for kids to enjoy their spooky loot. Then, once everyone’s had his or her fill, burn off some of that sugar energy with 2-3 minutes of teeth brushing.
3. Supervise the brushing. This is a good idea until children are about eight years old. And it helps kids to know that brushing is part of the treat routine.
Halloween should be plenty of fun. But it’s important for everyone in the family to remember that its pretty easy to take care of your teeth as you’re celebrating ghosts, goblins and ghouls.