While Halloween is exciting for children, it can be a time of concern for parents who are worried about them eating lots of sweets and chocolate. However, Hallowe’en doesn’t have to be a problem.
Instead of worrying about trick or treating, use Halloween as a great opportunity to teach your kids about dental hygiene and eating treats in moderation.
Trying to stop children from eating sweets altogether at Halloween is a bad idea, as it can send them the wrong message about leading a healthy diet. It can also make eating sweets and chocolate more of a temptation, which may result in children sneaking food away, or eating lots of it when you are not around.
Instead, just be a little strict when it comes to the trick or treat bags they arrive home with. Rather than leaving the pile of sweets out so they can help themselves at any time, set a specific time of day for them to have one or two treats – this ensures they do not eat too many in one go, and they’ll be less tempted to snack on other unhealthy foods for the rest of the day. Bear in mind that this should not continue for months though – many dentists believe that this type of ‘chronic’ exposure is what puts children at higher risk of tooth decay.
If need be, impose a limit right from when they arrive home, by picking out a certain number of favourite goodies, then getting rid of the rest. Letting children set their own limit helps them learn ideas of what a healthy amount of sugar is, so that this stays with them when they grow older. Try and make them think in terms of too many sweets leading to oral health problems, rather than just that all sweets and chocolates are bad.
Crucial to maintaining good dental health during any holiday is keeping up a regular routine of brushing and flossing. It can be very easy to let routines slide during busy times of the year, but this is probably the most important time to remember. You could always use Hallowe’en as a great time to buy a new toothbrush – they need replacing every few months anyway, and children are always eager to use new toothbrushes straight away.
Call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.