The Fall season is upon us and with that comes many favorites like cooler weather, colorful leaves, all things pumpkin and of course, Halloween! There’s no doubt that for most kids, collecting and eating as much candy as possible is the primary goal. For parents it can be a challenge to let the kiddos enjoy the season while keeping them healthy, especially their teeth. The good news is that healthy and fun alternatives abound. Here are just a few:
The Trick Is Healthy Treats – Making healthy treats that look yummy and fun can help your family make better snacking choices. Try decorating healthy snacks in fun Halloween themes and make sure they are visible and accessible when it’s time for a treat.
Focus on Fall Fun – Fall activities are a great way to help take the focus off of sweets. Pumpkin patches, costume parties and arts & crafts are some popular options. This is also a great time to get some physical activity while enjoying nature. Try going on a hike, bike ride or a simple walk.
Make It About Giving Not Just Getting – This is the perfect time of year to remind your family of the importance of giving to others in need. Find out what volunteer opportunities are available in your community and/or consider donating items, money or better yet, a generous portion of the Halloween candy that was collected.
Keep An Oral Health Routine – Dental professionals agree that teaching your children good oral hygiene habits early on will help them develop and maintain these habits as they get older. Take time this “sweet season” to teach your child about the effects of sugar on their teeth and the importance of fighting tooth decay with a daily oral hygiene routine. Some easy dental tips to remember are:
- Limit sugar intake (hide sweet treats)
- Avoid sticky candy that clings to the teeth and also hard candy
- Allow a treat after a meal
- Make sure they drink plenty of water
- Brush and floss twice daily and after sweet treats
- Schedule your next visit with your family dentist
Sweets may not be 100% avoidable, especially during this season. However, combining healthy alternatives with a consistent oral health routine will certainly help keep your family’s smile happy and healthy. Have a safe and happy Halloween!!
South MS Smiles Dentists are MS Licensed General Dentists.