Halloween can be scarily good fun but it’s usually horrifically sugar-filled and can pose all kinds of petrifying problems for your little terrors’ teeth. So how do you limit the dental damage at this terrifying time of year but still make All Hallows’ Eve a wickedly wonderful night?
Check out our fiendish tips and stop 31st October being quite so frightening for teeth:
- Feed your kids a satisfying Halloween-themed meal before they get on with the job of scaring people (spaghetti, tomato ketchup, tapioca and cauliflower can be used in all kinds of imaginative ways!). A plateful of hearty fare will fill up little tummies and make them less likely to gorge on treats.
- Ration all that trick or treating loot. If your mini monsters have amassed a body bag sized amount of candy, limit how much they can feast on each day.
- Give tiny teeth a helping hand by encouraging greedy beasties to drink water after eating sweets. This will help wash away some of that wicked sugary residue.
- Give chocolate treats rather than tricky toffee or gruesome gummy sweets. The latter will stick around, whereas chocolate will helpfully melt away lessening the length of time the sugar is in contact with teeth. Impale apples on sticks and dip in chocolate for a more tooth-friendly twist on tacky toffee apples.
- Offer no-candy alternatives – this may not be traditional or especially popular with treat hunters but stand up to scary sugar and pop a toy in their booty bag instead. Try to make these non-sweet treats interesting, you don’t want to be a complete party pooper – go for suitably rebellious (temporary) tattoos, witchy fingers or fake vampire teeth. (Remember to make any toys age appropriate and don’t hand over anything that could pose a choking hazard to very young children).
- Whip up tasty treats with less sugar. Utilise the natural sweetness of fruit in your spooky offerings and seek out creepy cake recipes that use sugar alternatives.
- Offer sugar-free candy for a touch of tooth-loving sweetness.
- Encourage sharing piles of sweets with friends or siblings – this will lessen the amount on offer and, though it might not tie in with the decidedly evil theme, it will teach youngsters a useful moral message.
- Don’t tell your kids not to eat all the sweets then start scoffing them yourself – be a good role model and if you fancy a treat, eat in moderation and let your children see you doing just that.
- If your small ghouls have overindulged in the sweet stuff then make sure they give their fangs a good brushing. This will help to get rid of plaque – the sticky film that coats teeth and is packed with bothersome bacteria. It’s wise to regularly banish plaque as it reacts with sugar and creates an acid that can attack little teeth (a real dental nightmare!).
- Use collected candy as currency so children can use it to ‘buy’ less tooth damaging treats such as toys, books or a sugar-free trip to the zoo.
Try not to obsess about sugar too much, Halloween is all about having lots of frightening fun and it’s only one day in the year after all. Once it’s out of the way, you can stop fretting about monstrous amounts of tempting treats filling your house – at least until Christmas…