• 26 OCT 17
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    Worried About Cavities? Shift the Focus Away from Candy this Halloween

    child halloween pumpkin bucket spilling candyIt may seem as though Halloween was made for creating cavities, but this holiday is about much more than just filling a trick-or-treat bucket to the brim with candy. If you’re worried about cavities, make sure your kids have a healthy, fun-filled Halloween by shifting the focus away from sweets. Here’s how.

    Emphasize the Importance of Brushing and Flossing

    You don’t have to deny your kids candy to prevent cavities—just remind them to brush and floss thoroughly before bed to keep tooth decay at bay. You might buy your child a new toothbrush to start using on Halloween night to make it more fun.

    Supervise young children while they brush to make sure they do a good job. Instruct them to use short, gentle strokes and place the toothbrush at a 45-degree angle along the gum line. Younger children need your help brushing each night until they develop the dexterity to do it independently.

    Have Festive Activities Planned

    It’s easy for the focus of Halloween center on collecting candy, but if you have other fun family traditions, the candy becomes less important. Here are some festive activities you can do with your family every Halloween:

    • Visit a pumpkin patch, which may have games, arts and crafts, a hayride, or a petting zoo.
    • Make low-sugar meals and snacks, such as ghost pancakes, witch finger breadsticks, and grilled pumpkin seeds.
    • Play Halloween bingo. The winner gets a nonfood prize.
    • Carve pumpkins to use as decorations for the trick-or-treaters.
    • Tell scary stories by candlelight.
    • Watch family-friendly Halloween movies, such as The Corpse Bride, Addams Family, or Monster House.
    • Go to a creepy old cemetery and make tombstone rubbings.

    Set Some Ground Rules

    Before the trick-or-treating begins, sit down with your kids and convey what you have in mind for the evening. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Set a time limit or establish the number of houses your children can visit. Whatever candy they collect in that time is theirs to keep.
    • Give your children smaller bags and allow trick-or-treating to continue until they’re filled.
    • Let your kids keep all the candy from trick-or-treating, but limit their consumption to one piece per day (or whatever limit you choose to set).
    • Introduce the concept of a candy swap, or trading in pieces for non-candy rewards. Set a certain number of pieces as the price for different toys or activities. A sticker might cost one piece of candy, but a trip to the zoo could be worth 50.

    Give Away Healthier or Nonfood Items

    With all your efforts to help your own kids avoid cavities this Halloween, you might feel guilty about handing out candy to the goblins, princesses, and superheroes that come knocking. Fortunately, there’s a happy medium between handing out candy and offering nothing at all.

    Consider these healthier candy alternatives your trick-or-treaters are sure to love:

    • Boxes of raisins or dried cranberries
    • Fruit leather
    • Sugarless gum
    • Individual packages of trail mix
    • Little bags of potato chips or pretzels
    • Small boxes of animal crackers
    • 100-calorie pouches of cookies or crackers
    • Packaged cheese or peanut butter crackers
    • Individual packs of flavored pumpkin seeds
    • Juice boxes

    You can also offer trick-or-treaters nonfood giveaways:

    • Halloween-themed stickers or temporary tattoos
    • Boxes of crayons
    • Miniature coloring books
    • Glow-in-the-dark rings or bracelets
    • Bouncy balls
    • Toy soldiers
    • Kazoos
    • Bottles of bubbles
    • Coins

    Visit Evanson DDS If You’re Worried About Cavities

    We recommend bringing your child to the dentist every six months, but if you become worried about cavities between these visits, feel free to stop by anytime for a teeth cleaning and dental exam. We’ll check for tooth decay and other problems that could affect your child’s oral health.

    For more tips to prevent cavities this Halloween, or to schedule your child’s next dentist appointment, please call Evanson DDS at (720) 409-0008 or contact us online.

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