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Smile Elements Orthodontics Blog

10 Ways to Keep Your Child's Teeth Healthy During the Holidays

Posted by Dr. Hisham Badawi | October 09 2019

Halloween doesn’t have to be a scary time for your child's teeth. Use this sugar filled holiday as a way to teach your children about the importance of oral health and how your diet greatly affects your teeth. Here are the top ten ways to keep your Child's teeth healthy this Halloween!


Choose Teeth Healthy Treats


Making healthy treats fun and seasonal is a great way to get your child excited about eating them. Bananas, oranges and fruit cups might not be exciting for your child but when you take the time to make them look like ghosts, pumpkins and goblins they won’t be able to keep their hands off of them. Here are some fun ways to get your children into the holiday spirit , the healthy way!

These snacks are great for kids of all ages teaches older children how to care for their teeth with a healthy diet, regardless of the occasion.


Eat Tooth Healthy Candy


It’s next to impossible to take candy from a baby, but you can limit their intake! Picking through candy and getting rid of the worst ones will keep your child's smile a healthy one. Sticky candy like taffies, bubble gum and gummies can all be harmful to your child's teeth and challenging to brush off. Trade the bad candies for the good ones, here are some better choices to fill buckets with this Halloween season.

What your child doesn’t know might actually help them! Many kids will turn their nose up to the idea of a sugar free Halloween but their teeth will love it. Making a big deal over the sugar free candy is not how your child will learn to love it, introduce it them without informing them of it’s healthy nature. You might find them asking for more!


Implement a Good Oral Care Routine at Home


Cavities, tooth decay and other serious dental problems don’t happen overnight. Implementing a good oral health routine throughout the rest of the year is a great way to prevent problems, even on Halloween. Here is how your child can make the most of their oral health care routine.

Going to your dentist every six months for check ups and cleaning is also a great way to ensure your child's healthy smile. Preventative dentistry is the key to a happy and healthy smile right into adulthood.


Time it Right


Letting your child eat Halloween candy before bed or early in the morning can cause serious health risk to their teeth and developing mouth. The best time for sugary sweets to make their appearance is in between meals or after them. If your child consumes too much candy, here are some of the following health issues that could occur.

Reminding your child of the importance of good oral health all year long and monitoring their sugar intake is a great way to keep their teeth healthy. Tooth decay is the most common of all childhood disease yet it is the most preventable.



Make a Candy Plan


Setting ground rules with your child before trick or treating begins is a great way to prevent them from indulging in too much sugar. Allowing them to bring home a smaller amount of candy means they are at a lower risk of developing tooth decay among other oral childhood diseases. Here are a few ways you can decide how much candy they bring home.

  • Limit the amount of houses they can visit
  • Give them a smaller bag to fill with candy
  • Set a curfew

It is a great idea to inform your kids well before the holiday of the rules they are expected to adhere to. Explaining to them the importance of eating nutritious food and not candy when their hungry will make them better understand why these rules were implemented in the first place.


Non Candy Treats


There are ways to make Halloween just as exciting without any candy. Creating treat bags that include festive goodies will have children just as (if not more) excited for the loot bag as they would be a chocolate bar. Here are some of the top non sugar Halloween treats every kid will love.

Not only do these loot bags spare your child's teeth but they are great to give out at school or daycare. By having Halloween treats that don’t include food or sugar, children who have dietary restrictions are able to join in on the fun. Loot bags are a healthy and inclusive alternative to regular sugary snacks.


Bring Tap Water or Sugar Free Gum


It’s important to have some line of defense while your child is out trick or treating and eating sweets. Between stopping at every house on the block and swapping candy bars with friends, there is no time for tooth brushing. Here are a few things to arm yourself with to ensure your child's teeth are protected on the night of Halloween.

  • Tap water is packed with fluoride that helps strengthen tooth enamel and wash away food that can get stuck between the teeth.
  • Sugar Free Gum promotes saliva production which can clean your teeth and leave you with fresh smelling breath.
  • Carrots are one of the best foods for your teeth. Carrying some around for your little ones to snack on between candy bars is a great way to get their teeth and gums cleaned until they make it home to brush their teeth.

There is a lot of excitement on this night and it’s normal if your child is more concerned with their candy than they are their teeth, by following these few tips your child will have a happy and tooth healthy Halloween.


Say No to Sugary Drinks


Sodas and sports drinks are popular Halloween treats these days but they are also one of the leading causes of tooth decay. If your child brings home these sugary drinks, swap them for a healthier option. Here are some more tooth friendly beverages for your children to enjoy.

  • Flavored Water
  • Milk
  • 100% Fruit Juice
  • Unsweetened Tea

Consuming sugary drinks break down your tooth enamel which puts the consumer at a much greater risk of tooth decay. It is a good idea to throw out any drink of this nature your child has and implement a drink free Halloween rule. Their teeth will thank you for it!


Portion Control


It’s easy for kids to go overboard with candy if not carefully monitored, that’s why limiting their intake is so important for their well being. We understand not every parent wants to take their kids candy, but you can control their portions. Here are some helpful ways you can portion control on Halloween.

  • Snack Sized Treats only
  • No Jumbo Snacks
  • Limited amount of sweets allowed

Eating snack sized treats is the best way to make the most out of Halloween candy for your child. Where as there are limited amounts of food already packaged, you don’t have to be the one who decides how much they get and your child is still able to enjoy the treats that they love.



Candy Trade In


Don’t want your kids to suffer to consequences of too much candy but still want them to enjoy the Halloween season? Easy! There are many ways parents can make Halloween sugar free and still have their children love it. Try a candy trade in method! What that means is, in exchange for so much candy your child will be able to pick out one toy at the dollar store. You could also have toys on hand and distribute them based off of the amount of candy your child is willing to part with. This way, your child feels in control of the situation while they still are able to make the most of their holiday and you’re protecting their teeth from harmful sugars. It is a win win situation!

Topics: Orthodontics

Written by Dr. Hisham Badawi

An accomplished clinician, researcher, speaker and subject matter expert, with broad, in-depth and hands-on experience in many verticals within the healthcare space including technology applications in clinical practice, clinical research, biomechanics, bioinformatics, intellectual property, software development, clinical data sciences, and healthcare data privacy regulations.

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