There are lots of scary things about Halloween, but cavities don’t have to be one of them. Kids of all ages enjoy Halloween traditions like parties, costumes and sweet treats. In moderation, sweets can be part of a healthy diet. But it’s important to also care for kids’ teeth. In the spirit of Dental Hygiene Month, here are some ideas to keep your kids’ teeth healthy without sacrificing the fun of Halloween.

  1. Enjoy a healthy family meal together before the Halloween festivities begin. Because kids’ tummies will be full, it will be easier to curb their intake of sweets.
  2. Offer water with treats. Water helps kids stay hydrated and also rinses away sugar that clings to teeth. If you are hosting a party, include ice-cold water as a drink choice. Consider one of the Rethink Your Drink recipes to make it special. If you are taking your kids trick-or-treating, bring water along.
  3. Limit kids to one or two pieces of sticky sour candies. Because these candies adhere to teeth longer, they can be more damaging to teeth than other sweet treats.
  4. Place more emphasis on fun activities like dressing up in costumes and games than on sweet treats.
  5.  After a few days, put the sweet treats away or remove them from your home altogether. If you enjoy baking, consider repurposing some candies for gingerbread houses in December.

Good dental hygiene is important year-round. Be sure your kids brush and floss their teeth thoroughly before going to bed. For more information about Dental Hygiene Month and tips on how to keep your family’s teeth healthy, visit the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

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