While Halloween has its roots in American tradition, it’s quickly gaining popularity in Australia. This is a dream for children – what could be more fun than dressing up as your favourite character and being given free sweets? However, it also has the potential to be a nightmare for parents – hyperactive children and visions of rotting teeth being the scariest things about Halloween.
Though we’re certainly not suggesting you refuse your children the delights of Halloween, we thought we’d put together some quick tips on how you can make sure your child’s teeth stay strong and healthy as they roam the streets dressed as a vampire.
All in Moderation
At Halloween, you have to walk the fine line between allowing your children to enjoy the treats they’ve been given, and not allowing it to become a feast. Some professionals recommend going through your child’s stash of sweets with them and allowing them to choose a certain number to keep. The rest can be donated, or stashed away to use as treats if they’re non-perishable.
Switch to Healthier Snacks
Kids on the hunt for sweets and chocolate may not take too kindly to the family that insists on giving out apples and oranges, but switching the chocolate in your candy bowl to treats that have a lower sugar content or aren’t quite so sticky will certainly make you popular with the rest of the parents in the neighbourhood. Read here for more tips on how to combat tooth decay.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water – especially fluoridated water from a tap – can help to rinse the excess sugar from your mouth after eating. While you’re walking around the neighbourhood, keep a bottle of water to hand for your child to drink from after any snacks.
Make It a Treat
Once all the fun of Halloween is over and you’ re back at home, decide which sweets you’re going to allow your children to have and then store the rest away. From then on, you can designate a specific ‘treat time’ for you children, where you let them choose their next treat each day or weekend until their collection is gone.
Instilling the habit that sweets and chocolate are to be had as special treats and not eaten at any point throughout the day as snacks will help your children grow up with a healthy relationship to sugary foods.
Just Keep Brushing
When it comes to special occasions and holidays, it’s important to remember to stick to old habits. During times such as Halloween, Christmas, and Birthdays, it can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and organisation and forget to make sure your child has remembered to brush and floss their teeth. However, these are the most important times for brushing and flossing to take place.
Before they go to bed, double check that your children have cleaned their teeth properly – and you might want to take a peek under their pillow to make sure they haven’t tried to sneak any sweets past you!
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