CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) — Halloween is the one time of year where children can get their fill of candy, but the real concern are cavities and dental hygiene.
Dr. Skylar Poe, an Associate Dentist at Shady Spring Dental Care shared her insight on some tips for trick-or-treaters and how to have fun trick-or-treating for candy on Halloween, while practicing proper dental hygiene.
“Oral hygiene is just as important on Halloween night as any other night,” said Poe. “We tell patients here all the time to kind of stick with things like chocolate, things that kind of melt in your mouth, whereas, try to stay away from the sticky candies, hard candies, like suckers, taffy, things like that,” said Poe, as these types of candies can be more harmful to your teeth.
Poe also mentioned that good alternatives for children can be sugar-free gum or pretzels.
It is also very important to encourage children to brush their teeth, especially on Halloween night after eating all that candy. Poe mentioned children dive into their full bag of candy, but still strives the importance of good dental hygiene, especially when parents try to encourage their children to brush their teeth.
“I would try to limit their candy consumption,” Poe shared. “I know that certain types of juices and milks and things that kids have throughout just everyday life. We try to tell the parents to only limit those to meal time, and I would kind of say the same thing to candy too. Don’t let them be snacking on it throughout the rest of the day, just kind of limit those to only meal times and only give them a certain amount of candy during that meal as well. I wouldn’t necessarily try to treat it as a reward either, Poe expressed.
If more convincing and promotion is needed, Poe said that parents need to be stern and tell their kids that proper dental hygiene is important because over consumption of candy can lead to cavities and could cause their teeth to hurt them and become painful.
Fun parties, school functions, and family outings for Halloween always provide candy and sugary sweets as well. Poe concluded, “There’s like different type of sugary treats. There are cupcakes, different types of candy. There’s always alternatives as far as like fruit and veggie trays, different things like that, and I’ve seen actually people give out different types of fruits to kids on Halloween, so that might help as well.”
You can have your candy and eat it too, as long as you brush your teeth and don’t over consume.