Tips and tricks for a healthier Halloween

Tips and tricks for a healthier Halloween

Are your little ones planning on going trick or treating this year? If, like many, your children are dressing up for the occasion and wowing neighbours with their ghoulish costumes, there are just a few things to keep in mind. With almost £300m spent on sweets, chocolates and treats alone, to celebrate Halloween each year, it’s important that children’s oral health is considered too.

Getting the right balance

Tips and tricks for a healthier Halloween trick or treaters

Let’s face it – sweets and treats are a huge part of Halloween. Youngsters measure their success on the night by how full their bag of goodies is when they arrive back home. But too much of a good thing can be bad. Around a third of children between the ages of 5 and 12 have visible signs of tooth decay – and it’s sugary sweets and treats that are the biggest offenders behind this statistic. While it’s important that your children get to enjoy the event, and the goodies that come with it, it’s key that they don’t go overboard.

Here are tips you might like to consider:

  • Limit the number of houses visited on Halloween to prevent excessive sweet collection and consumption!
  • Stop children eating sweets one hour before bedtime on Halloween. Every time a child eats or drinks anything sugary, their teeth are under attack for up to one hour. Instead, recommend that they save some sweets to enjoy daily with mealtimes. Unlike bedtime, this is the best time to consume sugar.
  • Ensure you supervise your children brushing their teeth before they go to bed on Halloween. The sugar build-up can cause serious dental issues if left to linger overnight.

Top #5 offenders: What you should avoid

Tips and trick for a healthier-Halloween main offenders

For those buying sweets, think about the amount of sugar likely to be in your trick or treater’s goodie bag and opt for sugar-free sweets instead. If you can’t get hold of any sugar-free options, opt for something simple like plain chocolate buttons.

  1. Hard sweets and lollipops

While common in Halloween party packs, these are among the most sugary sweets and tend to get stuck to teeth very easily. Instead of purchasing the easiest option – a bumper pack of lollipops – think about what might be healthier.

  1. Gummies

Again, gummies are common in sweetie bumper packs. The problem with these sticky sweets is that they get stuck in the little gaps, cracks and crevices, causing damage and enlarging cavities.

  1. Anything sour

Sour sweets tend to have a higher acidity level and therefore can be detrimental to tooth enamel. What’s worse, is that sweets such as Haribo Tangfastics, which are marketed as sour, are also covered in sugar; a double whammy!

  1. Toffees

Anything extremely chewy such as caramel is packed with sugar. These can also be hazardous to fillings. Any caramel chocolate bars – such as Snickers and Mars should also be avoided and replaced with other options like a Cadburys Flake.

  1. Fizzy drinks

All fizzy drinks essentially wash the mouth out with sugar and cover the teeth and gums completely. Diet options are a better choice, or low sugar milkshakes.

For more information about the impact of sugar on dental health, why not read our blog about today’s sugar crisis? You can find it here.

What will you be treating the kids to this Halloween? Tell us in the comments below. Alternatively, you can share your top healthy picks for the Halloween horrors over on Twitter @APSmilecare

Posted on: 26th Oct, 2015