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With Halloween just around the corner, the next few everyone is going to eat more teeth, and that increases the risk of dental cavities. However, parents shouldn't worry too much!
Use Halloween as an opportunity to teach kids good dental health habits, including eating sweets in moderation.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure a healthy and fun Halloween for you and your kids, so you can have your candy and eat it too.
1) Give out healthier treats.
Avoid giving trick or treaters candy that is sour, sticky or chewy as these can lead to damage to tooth's outer layer, enamel. Instead, you could always give out healthy treats, like cereal bars, pretzels or granola bars. Even a plain chocolate bar is better than sour, sticky or hard candies.
2) Eat only when home.
Tell you kids not to eat any candy that they get until they reach home. This way, you can sit down with them and explain to them what they can and cannot eat, and why.
Check the candies for any ingredients that your kid might be allergic to and to ensure that there are no dangerous items in with their goods.
You could also set aside the treats in little Ziploc bags, so as to make small portions of candies. This helps the candies last longer and helps moderate your children's candy consumption.
3) Set a treat time.
Your kids will want to binge on the candy as soon as they can, but you'll need to stop them.
While candies should be enjoyed, they need to be consumed in moderation. Assign them a certain time that they can dig in, maybe after a meal, or before bed. Make sure they brush their teeth after, though!
To avoid overall tooth decay, you need to enforce some basic rules. This can include:
With all this in mind, don't forget to brush, floss and routinely visit your dentist for checkups. Oral health is a major contributor to overall health, so developing food dental hygiene habits will help ensure a long and healthy life for you as well as your teeth.
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Dr. Alexander Yeh and Dr. Iyad Al-Qishawi are registered general dentists. They graduated in the same class at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Dentistry.
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