Halloween is almost here, which means bags of candy and sweet treats are to follow. We know that this holiday is a tempting one — who can resist the urge for even one candy bar?! But there is a way to stay healthy on Halloween without affecting your health.
Here are six ways to help you and your little one stay healthy this Halloween.
1. Eat candy at the right times.
Halloween candy isn’t the healthiest option for you or your teeth. But if you’re going to indulge, at least eat your candy (and other sugary foods) with a meal or shortly after mealtime.
Eating candy during or after a meal will help eliminate acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth by rinsing away food particles.
2. Choose your candy carefully.
Some candies are worse for you than others. Avoid hard candies and other sweets that can stay in your mouth for a long period of time (think taffy and caramel).
Eating a large amount of candy isn’t healthy, but the length of time these sugary treats are in your mouth can pose just as big of a threat (even if it is just a few pieces). Unless it’s sugar-free gum or candy, every other sweet indulgence can increase your risk of tooth decay.
3. Chew sugar-free gum.
No one wants a cavity, right? So instead of grabbing for that lollipop, choose sugar-free gum. Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum for at least 20 minutes helps reduce tooth decay. It increases the saliva in your mouth to help wash out any food particles and neutralize the acid levels.
4. Read the labels.
Whenever possible, check the wrappers of the candy before you eat it. Some candy contains a way higher amount of sugar than others. You should limit the candies that show more than 20 grams of sugar per serving on their packaging. You and your kids can easily end up having over 100 grams of sugar just in one sitting unless you look beforehand!
5. Avoid sugary drinks.
Did you know that sugar dissolves in liquid at a higher concentration than they do in solid form? So that means that sugary drinks are actually just as bad for you and your oral health as candies are. Try to stay away from the soda and other sweetened drinks this Halloween, and every other day of the year!
6. Stay away from non-natural food coloring treats.
If you’re going to eat candy, we suggest eating the products that have natural coloring. Multi-colored candy (or candy with unnatural flavoring) are full of artificial ingredients, making you even more prone to tooth decay and cavities.
More Tooth-Friendly Tips
Eat in moderation.
Even natural sweeteners can be dangerous if you eat too much of it in one sitting. Try to eat your candy in moderation (including any drinks that’s loaded with sugar as well).
Set up a candy bank.
Instead of allowing your kids to eat all of their Halloween candy in one night, put their candy in a “candy bank.” Offer them a piece of candy as a reward for a good grade in school or for finishing their chores.
Go trick-or-treating on a full stomach.
Staying full when you go trick-or-treating can help limit the amount of candy you put in your bag.
Healthy Halloween Alternatives
These delicious treats are made from apples. Cut and unpeel a green or red apple into large wedges. Cut a divot in the middle of the wedge and add peanut or almond butter — add coconut shavings for some extra flavor.
Veggies don’t have to be boring! Use celery stalks for the skeleton body, carrot sticks for their legs and arms, cucumber slices for a spine, and red bell peppers for the rib cage. Place cauliflower or broccoli florets to create a skull and voila!
Grab some clementines or oranges and indulge in some nutritious pumpkin treats.
Family Dentistry in Frisco
At Robert A. Neal, DDS Family Dentistry, we want to help you keep your teeth healthy for your whole life, from childhood through your golden years. To do this, teeth require regular and proper care, including consistently brushing and flossing and visiting our friendly Frisco dentist regularly. Routine visits typically consist of a cleaning, X-rays to double-check for cavities or other issues, a screening for oral cancer, a periodontal exam (an assessment of your gums), and an overall evaluation of your bite and dental health.
We do all of this so we can begin early treatment for dental problems, such as cavities and periodontal disease and to be proactive in preventing any potential health risks. Prevention may also include fluoride treatments as well as sealants, which are barriers placed on your molars to prevent plaque build-up and tooth decay.
Get to Know Dr. Robert A. Neal, DDS Dentistry
At Robert A. Neal, DDS Family Dentistry, we can’t wait to get to know you! Dr. Neal and our experienced team enjoy caring for the oral health of entire families, from little ones to the elderly. We offer a warm, welcoming atmosphere where patients can feel relaxed and comfortable. For 20 years, Dr. Neal has served the community with a range of dental services for every stage of life.Contact Robert A. Neal, DDS Family Dentistry at (972) 200-0656 to schedule your first appointment with Dr. Neal and our talented support team.