Happy Halloween! Before too long, the doorbell will start ringing. Children of all ages don costumes and go door to door in search of sweet treats. While it’s a fun time, as your Quincy children’s dentist we would be remiss if we didn’t offer at least a few tips on how to handle the sudden sugar bounty that comes home in the trick-or-treat bucket.
Let your kids know that before they can eat ANY candy, you need to see ALL of it. While every horror story to be found on social media and the internet isn’t necessarily true, it is a good idea to inspect all of the treats before the kids start chowing down. You’re looking for torn or compromised wrappers, candy that just doesn’t look right and anything that will trigger your children’s allergies. These items need to be removed from your children’s haul. If your children are small, look for choking hazards as well: wrapped hard candies and some similar treats are better for older children.
Develop the now and later rule. As much as your kids want to chow down on all of the Halloween candy now, everyone will feel much better in the morning if that doesn’t actually happen. Allowing children to pick a certain number of favorite pieces to consume immediately – we’d recommend 1-3, but family preferences vary – and reserve the rest to be doled out strategically over the days to come.
Nightly tooth brushing is more important than ever. We know you’re already going above and beyond to preserve your children’s dental health. Making an extra effort regarding bedtime tooth brushing now really matters: it’s the best way to remove the sugary residue that sticks to kids’ teeth after they eat candy. Prolonged sugar exposure damages the enamel, and we don’t want that to happen.