Trick-or-treat! It’s October, and you know what that means for kids across the country. Candy. Tons of candy.
October also happens to be National Dental Hygiene Month. It’s also the same month that open enrollment periods begin as workers decide on the best health insurance and family dental plans through their employers.
But, most importantly, Halloween can present a scary time for our kids teeth if they gorge on candy all night and day.
To help kids keep tooth decay away on candy day, here’s what works for 5 moms from our Toothbrush Task Force:
After the candy feast, I make sure to help my two boys brush their teeth, and we use an hourglass timer from the dentist to make sure we brush long enough. We made up names for two germs that try to escape the toothbrush, and we brush until we get both of them, although they can be very tricky.
If my boy indulges too much, I’ll let him know that the more candy he eats, the more he’ll need to brush his teeth. And, if he doesn’t brush them good, he might get cavities and lose his teeth. That trick usually works for me.
For Halloween, my two girls can have a couple of pieces of candy. That’s usually at nighttime. And, right after that, we pick out their favorite toothbrush to brush their teeth!
My one-and-a-half year- old daughter gets to eat three M&M’s—as a bribe for eating her food, good behavior and things like that. And there’s no need for a bribe when it comes to brushing her teeth. She loves it when we take turns brushing each other’s teeth.
We don’t have too many candy-eating guidelines for Halloween. It’s once a year, so we let the kids have fun with their trick-or-treats. But after their candy-eating session, it’s a good brush and floss, floss, floss!
How do you help your children have a fun Halloween without scaring the health of their teeth? Share your tips and comments below.
For more food know-how and tooth tips, check out Dr. Krimsky’s “Dental Health: Understanding Your Teeth and Food.” And stay tuned for more monthly advice and real-life tooth tales from our moms on the Toothbrush Task Force.