Even though Halloween in Madison might look a little different this year, you can be sure that plenty of candy will still find its way into your house! To help keep your little goblins’ teeth sparkling, we have a few tips for how to have a healthy Halloween while still enjoying candy-and-costume fun.
- Encourage Healthy Food Throughout the Day
- Serve a Festive Fall Dinner
- Limit Candy to After Dinner
- Have a Candy Trade-in
Encourage Healthy Food Throughout the Day
Even a very young child might be persuaded to eat extra healthy foods during the day knowing that a fun sugary Halloween night awaits. Encourage your child to eat crunchy fruits and vegetables, which act like tiny toothbrushes to clear away plaque and bacteria from the teeth.
Also consider serving cheese. A 2013 study found that eating cheese might actually decrease the likelihood of developing cavities by stimulating saliva production, lowering the acidity level in the mouth, and remineralizing tooth enamel.
Make it more fun by cutting cheese slices into Halloween shapes or using mini cheese wheels as the bodies of spooky spiders with pretzel legs.
For more ideas of tooth-friendly foods to serve before the big night, read: The Best Snacks for Your Smile.
Serve a Festive Fall Dinner
Help cut down the amount of candy your little goblins eat by having them fill up on a fun fall dinner before the festivities begin. Celebrate the best of flavors of the season by serving hearty, nutrient-rich chili, like this Fire Roasted Chili, homemade, no-sugar-added applesauce, and a healthy Halloween party plate with fruits and veggies.
Limit Candy to After Dinner
What’s Halloween without a little candy? Instead of saying no to all of the sugary stuff, consider limiting it to the evening hours. This way, little bellies will have been fed healthy food all day.
Saliva production rises during meal time. By eating candy directly after dinner, your child’s increased saliva will help wash away tooth-weakening acid, bacteria, and food particles.
Avoid allowing your child to snack on candy throughout the day. Sugar consumption promotes the growth of decay-causing bacteria. Having sugar in the mouth for a prolonged period of time increases your child’s risk of developing cavities.
Have a Candy Trade-in
If your child hauled in far more candy than is good for him or her, consider doing a candy swap. Let your child “pay” for a fun experience with the extra candy. This could include things like a lunch out, ticket to the movie theater, or trip to the mall. Your child might be more willing to part with it if something special is offered in exchange.
Your child might also want to participate in programs such as Operation Gratitude that send candy to deployed troops, veterans, and first responders as a small thank you for their service.
Pediatric Dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin
Affiliated Dentists is committed to keeping your child’s teeth healthy and strong. If you’d like to make an appointment for your child, please contact us today. Affiliated Dentists offers many dental services, including pediatric dentistry in Madison, Wisconsin.
How to Have a Healthy Halloween brought to you by Dr. Mark Gustavson