You’ll Love These Tips For Healthy Halloween Treats [BLOG]
If you were in the office last year around Halloween or followed us on Facebook, you could probably tell that Overmeyer Family Dental likes getting into the Halloween spirit! We loved our pumpkin contest, and our team here always enjoys dressing up and seeing our patients in costume too! Some of our patients are hesitant to admit they love eating candy on Halloween, but surprise – we do too! Still, there are a few ways your family can enjoy the holiday more without sacrificing your oral health.
Take a couple of minutes to browse our ideas for healthy Halloween treats in Orlando. Whether you’re passing out candy or going through your kids’ insane amounts of sweets, these are some great things to keep in mind for healthier, happier smiles. If you’d like more nutritional tips regarding your teeth or your children’s teeth, don’t forget to ask at your next checkup . Call (407) 871-3143 today if you haven’t made that appointment yet. You might need it after Halloween, after all!
Stay Away From These Tricks
Some candy should be enjoyed sparingly, perhaps not at all. If your kids are prone to cavities or have any fillings (the same goes for you), you should just skip some of these altogether:
- Hard candy like jawbreakers, suckers, and toffee
- Chewy or sticky candy like gum, gummies, caramels, and fruit-flavored chews
- Acidic/sour candy like sour worms
For hard candy, you could probably guess our reasoning for keeping these away from teeth. That’s right – they can chip, crack, and even break teeth. That would make for a pretty expensive piece of candy and a not-so-fun treat. We’ve treated a lot of emergency patients over the years for this exact reason, so we encourage you to stay away from them or at least be cautious.
Sticky and chewy candy can obviously get stuck on teeth more than any other types of candy. Bacteria starts to use it as food and creates acid as a byproduct. That acid eats through teeth, especially children’s teeth that aren’t as strong and are more vulnerable to cavities. It’s clear why acidic – especially sticky and acidic – candy creates an even better environment for tooth decay! Plus, it can loosen dental work like fillings and crowns.
Spare These Tricky Treats
We’ve kept tabs over the years on Halloween treats that aren’t as bad for your teeth as the ones above. That includes the following:
- Individual-sized multigrain/tortilla chips
- Individual-sized crackers
- Individual-sized fat-free popcorn
- Individual-sized trail mix (watch for allergies for any nut products)
- Individual packs of cheese or peanut butter sandwich crackers
- Real fruit leather
- 100% juice boxes
- Tangerines and other small citrus fruits (they do contain acid)
- Raisins, dried fruits
- Chocolate-covered nuts and raisins
- Yogurt-covered nuts and raisins
- Solid milk chocolate
- Peanut butter cups
Some of these are lower in sugar but high in carbs that like to get stuck between teeth and in those back grooves. No matter what, just be sure to drink water, brush, and floss when you indulge.
Splurge On These Treats
It’s true that there are healthy Halloween treats your family can enjoy this year, or that you can hand out to trick-or-treaters. Take a look below and see if you can think of any others:
- Small apples
- Dark chocolate bars or squares (they’re great melted and served with sliced bananas!)
- Individual packs of nuts
- Personal-size peanut butters or nut butters
- Sugarless gum – especially with xylitol, a cavity-fighting sweetener
Skip The Sweets Altogether
Kids don’t go out on Halloween to collect healthy foods, though they’re more likely to enjoy ones from the list above. They’ll have plenty of candy, so consider these non-candy Halloween treats that are big hits for kids. In fact, many kids consider them treasures! You can find them at your local party store, discount store, or dollar store. A trip there is sure to inspire other ideas, too. You may even invite your kids for inspiration.
- Small toys like tops, airplanes, Slinkies
- Mini puzzles or games
- Packs of cards
- Jewelry, especially glow or light-up jewelry
- Halloween-themed jewelry like spider rings
- Fake mustaches and vampire teeth
- Glow sticks
- Mini Play-Doh packs
- Pencils, pencil toppers, erasers
- Activity books
- Mini drawing pads
- Stamps and stencils
- Halloween temporary tattoos
Smile Brighter With These Tooth Tips
No matter which list your kids eat candy from, remember these tips to keep their smiles in good shape:
- Remind them to rinse their mouth with water or drink water after anything sweet or starchy.
- Make sure they brush their teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and floss at night. Ensure they get back teeth where sticky and starchy foods collect.
- Ask us about fluoride rinses at home for extra cavity protection. They’ll like the different flavors!
- Limit how many times a day and what time a day your kids can eat their sweets. You might put up the candy bag for young kids, as they tend to graze on it during the day or even after bedtime.
- Decide to get rid of the candy after a certain time frame.
It helps to go ahead and start asking your kids if they know what’s good and bad for their teeth. If you can get them thinking about it now, they’ll be more understanding when it’s time to sort their candy. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry takes a fun approach to Halloween oral health. Consider showing it to your kids and printing off their adorable coloring sheets too!
See Us For Regular Checkups & Healthier Smiles Year-Round
We hope you have a better idea of what healthy Halloween treats look like and how your family can still enjoy the holiday without feeling guilty or deprived. If you have any questions or haven’t scheduled twice-yearly exams for the family , we can schedule multiple appointments in one time block with hours that fit your schedules. Call Overmeyer Family Dental at (407) 871-3143 or fill out our online form today! Happy Halloween!