Halloween Fun: Health Tips and Alternatives
October is here and that means fall, pumpkins, Halloween, costumes and endless amount of free sugar given out. As Halloween approaches, it is important to remember the affects of candy on your teeth and those who recently received orthodontic treatment, such as braces, invisalign and other treatment. Halloween seems like it can be a dreaded time for orthodontist, but in reality it is a perfect time to teach anyone how to prevent cavities, make healthy choices and be responsible for keeping our teeth clean and healthy. There are so many things we can do to ensure Halloween is fun for everyone, event after it has passed.
Stick to Your Routine:
It is important to stick to your oral hygiene routine no matter what. If you do not have a morning and nightly routine, I would recommend to create and implement one. This will help your child create a good oral health routine, such as brushing twice a day, flossing and making healthy choices. Whether it is one piece of sweets or the entire bag on Halloween night, it is important to ensure your child is brushing his or her teeth before bedtime. This will prevent tooth decay, and ensure all the sugar is out of your child’s teeth. A fantastic way to get your child excited about candy on Halloween and brushing his or her teeth is to drop a fun new toothbrush in your child’s tick-or-treat bucket. Add in some floss. “After indulging in Halloween treats, have your child both brush and floss, since candy can easily get stuck between teeth. Remind your child of proper brushing techniques. Show him how to move the brush back and forth against his teeth and gums with short, gentle strokes and how to place the brush at a 45-degree angle towards the gum line.”
Limit the Candy:
Plan ahead to avoid going overboard on Halloween candy, on Halloween night. At the end of the night when candy is overflowing, plan how you will give your child options on what to do with the candy. An additional fun way to ensure a fantastic Halloween is to give your child the option of a “no-sugar reward.” In addition some Orthodontist and dentist will buy back your candy. “Discussing your plan for Halloween candy is also a great opportunity to talk about the importance of limiting consumption of sweets. Explain to your child how to make healthy choices for one's body and teeth, what foods are the best for overall and orthodontic health and how to prevent cavities with brushing and flossing.”
There are so many great alternatives to Halloween candy on Halloween. You can make some great delicious healthy snacks such as these on the American Association of Orthodontics website. A candy swap is an ideal situation for not overloading on sweets. The idea is to swap your child’s candy with a non-candy treat, such as a toy, a trip or something he or she has wanted to try. “You can also extend the swap by trading out small amounts at a time rather than the whole thing at once; for example, you can allow your child to pick one piece of Halloween candy a day but then give them the opportunity to do a daily trade for something as simple as a sticker. “
Drink More Water:
You’ve heard it time and time again for your overall health, “drink water, drink water, and drink water!” However when it comes to your oral health specifically, drinking fluoridated water can help your teeth in more ways than just your aiding benefits to your overall health and well being. Drinking fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay and keep your orthodontic plan on track. Avoid sugary drinks at all cost. The amount of sugar in sugary drinks is usually a high amount that ultimately can hurt your tooth overtime and cause the same damage, as if you were to eat candy every single day.
Halloween is a perfect time to teach and remind your child of ways to stick to a healthy oral health routine and practice a healthy routine. There are other ideas and ways to ensure your child’s Halloween is dental and orthodontic friendly.
At Hook Orthodontics, we run a practice, not a business. This means that we treat every patient with respect and believe in giving him or her the best option. We believe in giving quality orthodontic care that meets every patient’s individual needs. Unlike most Orthodontic practices in the state that encourages unnecessary orthodontic treatment, we take every patient and asses them individually. Each member of our team is friendly and accessible and we encourage our patients or parents to ask questions. To schedule a free complimentary exam call us at our Kailua office at (808) 261-4696. Be sure to visit us on Facebook and Instagram.