Q: The average trick-or-treater will consume three cups of sugar from Halloween candy. But, surprise, even dentists hand out candy treats on Halloween! So without being a spoiled sport, what can parents do to combat tooth decay?
Dr. Tenaglia says:
1) “Forbid your children from eating candy they collect while they are still out Trick-or-Treating. Inspect all candy the kids bring back before allowing them to eat it. Look for torn wrappers or candy which appears to have been opened and throw it away. If you suspect deliberate tampering, deliver the candy to local police.”
2) “Feed your children a good, nutritious meal before sending them out. They’ll feel full and may therefore be less inclined to snack along the way.”
3) “Avoid suckers, which leave the teeth and gums exposed to sugar for longer periods of time. Banish taffy and candies which can stick to the teeth or even pull out fillings. Hard and sticky candy can damage braces.”
4) “Currency comes in many forms. Try allowing your kids to ‘trade’ the candy they’ve collected in exchange for a book, DVD, gift card to their favorite store, or trip to the amusement park or bowling alley. Be specific about what items are available, and how much candy it will take to ‘buy’ each item.”
5) “Have children choose their favorite candies from their Halloween stash, and donate the rest to a charity, hospital or assisted living home.”
6) “Ration the candy. Allow children to have a couple of pieces per day…or for an after-dinner dessert.”
7) “Of course, brush vigorously and floss regularly – especially after meals and treats.”
Dr. Tenaglia warns of other Halloween dangers:
- Tripping on costumes
- Wearing masks which limit visibility
- Carelessly crossing busy streets at dusk – the most dangerous time on the road is prime trick-or-treating time. -Trick or Treating without a flashlight
- Sharp or dangerous props such as knives, axes or swords
- Getting too close to burning pumpkin candles.
Come visit the Witches! And guess how many there is.