Ask children their favorite holiday, and chances are Halloween will rank in the top three or four.
And why not? They get to dress up as their favorite character, stay out long after the street lights have come on, and get free candy from as many people as possible.
It’s the stuff of legend — and, unfortunately, a possible precursor to an eventful appointment with the dentist.
Often dentists catch problems weeks or even months after Halloween when children are brought in for their regular check-ups. The best way to protect children’s long-term dental health is by limiting sugary snacks and encouraging good brushing habits.
Here are a few other tips to keep Halloween a happy, healthy experience for all.
- Discuss your expectations with your child before trick-or-treating. Lay the ground rules for how much candy can be eaten that night and in succeeding days.
- Keep all candy in the kitchen and out of your child’s bedroom.
- Try to avoid sticky and hard candy that can more easily lead to tooth decay.
- Make sure your child brushes at least twice a day, particularly after eating sugary snacks on Halloween.
- Encourage a lifetime of good brushing and flossing habits by serving as a good example in your home.
- See your dentist twice a year for regular cleanings and check-ups.
What do you do to ensure your child doesn’t eat too much candy?
Mimi Eckhard handles communications for the surgical team at Vanderbilt. After 20 years in the PR/communications field, she still loves telling a great story.