Halloween is a fun time of year that kids love—and not just for the costumes. Candy and treats abound at the store, in school, and at parties with friends. Keeping their teeth healthy is a priority and part of overall preventive dentistry and good oral hygiene. Check out these tips for maintaining such health habits during the holiday.
Ration the number of treats your child has at home. Keep lunches healthy, especially if there will be parties at school. Make agreements with other parents about limiting sugar during play dates and sleepovers. After the Halloween celebrations, put trick or treat hauls in the freezer or another location where you can monitor consumption.
Educate your kids.
Talk to your kids about sugar and its harmful effects on teeth, as well as how to moderate their snacking. Help them understand that treats are for special occasions and best in small doses. Part of preventive dentistry is education about developing good hygiene habits.
Make sure they brush and floss twice daily.
Preventive dentistry also includes regular brushing and flossing. Make sure your kids know how to do so properly and get products that are easy for them to use, such as flossing picks or an oral irrigator. Make brushing a part of morning and evening routines. Encourage them to drink water after meals, especially when they can’t clean teeth right away, to clear lingering food particles.
Neglect dentist visits.
Keep your child up-to-date with cleanings and exams. If it has been a while, schedule a post-Halloween visit. Seeing the dentist at least twice a year ensures any problems are caught and treated early before they escalate.
Binge on treats yourself.
Adults love candy too, and it’s easy to binge on snack-size chocolate and candy corn that are readily available. Modeling good eating habits for your kids is one way to inspire them to have a healthy relationship with sugar.
Forget to watch your child brush and floss.
Monitor your child’s brushing and flossing occasionally to make sure they use the proper techniques and take enough time—dentists usually recommend 2 minutes. If they are younger than 8, then you’ll likely need to help them, rather than supervise. Reward children for their efforts—but not with candy!
Main Street Dental provides preventive dentistry and care for the entire family. They have a gentle approach to treatment and have been serving the La Crosse, WI, community for 30 years. The seasoned team offers everything from same day crowns and implants to fillings and extractions. Call (608) 784-4063 to schedule a pre- or post-Halloween appointment, or visit the website today to learn more about their financing, staff, and ways they can assist.