The US consumes more than 7 billion pounds of candy each year and spends approximately 9 billion dollars a year on Halloween candy. Let that sink in for a minute.
For many moms and dads, squashing the sugary childhood trick or treat dreams of their kids may seem like the best idea. But rather than eliminating the fun, consider teaching kids the best way to handle their loot. That way, the message isn’t “candy is bad”, but rather, excessive sugar can lead to cavities. Here are some guidelines to help your family have a Happy Halloween AND maintain optimum oral health:
- Establish some rules in your house PRIOR to trick or treating. For example, maybe you tell your kids that they can pick out 25 pieces of candy from their collection. Then, encourage them to give away the rest or donate it.
- After the candy is brought home, help your children pick their treats they can keep. Sticky, gooey candy, caramel treats, lollipops and sour goodies can cause the most damage because they stay in the mouth for a long time compared to other candy treats that are quickly consumed or melt in your mouth. Believe it or not, chocolate bars can sometimes be the best choices!
- Finally, eat the Halloween candy right after a meal because the acid production from eating has already been activated. Use a piece of Halloween candy as dessert. Then tuck the rest of the candy away and run for the hills. Or rather, use moderation and make wise choices.
And as always, if your lil’ goblins (or you as well Ma and Pa) need a family dental home to turn to… we’d love to be considered.