Ghouls, ghosts and goblins … it’s officially Halloween 2021.
It’s that sweet and sugary time of year but even vampires have sparkling white teeth… which means your little gremlins should have exceptionally white teeth too!
Halloween is such a fun holiday and definitely one of our favourites. Halloween is definitely the event of the year that kicks off the party season.
Usually, Halloween is also the season that means nutrition goes out of the window completely. After a fun night of trick or treating, kids usually come back with huge bags filled with sugar filled treats. More than the sugar overload and the threat of many cavities, there are a few reasons to opt for more healthy options for Halloween.
Of course, us dentists are not winning any popularity by telling people to give up sweets; however, like almost every other aspect of our health, we recommend balance.
Trick your kids into healthy treats this Halloween 2021
Around this time every year supermarkets and corner shops everywhere are fully stocked with sugar filled treats that are tastier and cheaper than any of the healthier options.
Our goal here at The Neem Tree is to generate the same level of excitement for Halloween without the additional threat of decay and cavities. We have this dilemma every year… should we stock up on sugar and sticky treats for all the neighbouring children or wear my dentist uniform and look for healthier options/alternatives that will not evoke a look of disgust from children and wind up getting my house egged on?
Sure enough, every single year, the entire Neem Tree team puts our hats on and scour the aisles of supermarkets and corner shops for great trick or treat options that will please sugar hungry children while also being less harmful for their teeth.
After all, our goal is to let children know that there are treats that are out there that are both fun to eat and not harmful for your teeth.
The great news is that there are plenty of individual portion treats to satisfy even the sweetest of tooths.
Our favourites include:
- Juice boxes
- Sugar-free sweets/ gum
- Plain biscuits
- Mini water bottles (always a great overlooked idea)
- Pre-cut fruit bags
Although many of these treats come with their own downsides to your oral health they can be a great way to break up the reliance on chocolate for a sweet treat.
Dentist’s secrets about chocolates
Sometimes during Halloween you cannot help but to indulge a little in the treats but between just you and us, the best type of treat would definitely be chocolate. This is because it is the easiest to wash off your teeth straight after it isn’t like sweets that stick to your teeth and in between them.
If you are looking for an even better option, dark chocolate has a lot less sugar than milk chocolate.
Though it may not be a top pick for kids, sugar-free sweets are a great option especially to give out to young trick or treaters. They might end up enjoying your treats without even realising they are a healthier option.
Chocolate is a better option than sweets because sweets and gummies get stuck in your teeth’s nooks and crannies which is not ideal. Sour sweets also should be avoided due to their high levels of acid that can break down your tooth enamel. Hard candies and lollipops are also ones that should be avoided at all costs! This is because these are sugar filled demons that stay in your mouth the longest which means they have plenty more time than any other sweets to do as much damage to your teeth as possible.
Sweets aside, we (dentists) have other (quite easy) recommendations for having a healthy Halloween (at least when it comes to your teeth). Here a few:
Bring a bottle of water
Bringing a bottle of water for you or your children to sip between treats will help wash away sugar build up.
It is so easy to fill up on sweets, especially for kids. To make sure you or the little ones aren’t overeating all your treats, make sure to have a proper meal first. That way, they’ll still get to enjoy their treats, but they won’t completely fill up on it.
Set a time limit
Kids are understandably very excited when it comes to all things sugar but you need to let them know that eating treats is not a non-stop activity. Setting a time limit is key for having treats when trying to implement moderation. Sometimes this helps when you specify a ‘treat time’ which allows them to get excited for it and are less likely to think about eating treats at other times.
Brush AND floss at the end of the night
WE KNOW, WE KNOW you are all tired of us telling you to brush twice a day for two minutes but of all nights to make sure your kids brush their teeth before they go to bed, Halloween should be at the top of the list.
A little tip from us to you parents
As a parent it is best to establish a plan of how all the sweets your children will consume. You may find that a lot of kids will want to substitute meals for sweeter options and miss out on the meal as a whole.
Regardless of what your plan is for how your child consumes sweets and chocolates, you need to make sure that no matter what, every morning and evening right before bed, they are brushing their teeth for two minute each time. Be sure to also teach your children how to floss as well, it is never too early to start learning.
Remember, your kids are growing and need a lot of nutrients that aren’t found in sweets. It is best for children to see sweets and chocolates as a treat, only to be consumed after satisfying the body’s need for vitamins, nutrients and vitamins.
It doesn’t matter how often you choose to treat your children with treats, just make sure they know that meals are necessary every single day and treats are only there for once in a while.
Looking for family dentists to give your child the preventative care they need this Halloween season? The licensed dentists at The Neem Tree are there / here for you. To learn more about how you can take care of your child’s teeth this Halloween, or to schedule a routine cleaning with one of our family dentists, contact us today.
We know sugar is bad, especially the refined sugar that is in sweets and chocolates. Is it that bad to let kids indulge in all the treats Halloween has to offer just this once? Once a year… can’t be that bad?
Halloween presents parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. Adults also tend to have issues with their oral health and Halloween. It is OK to eat sweets and chocolates this season but it is important to have a plan.
Book an appointment with our dental hygienists now to find out more about how to keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible. Find out more about our dental hygiene services.