Trick or treat!! All of our children cant wait to get dressed up in costume, shout this to their neighbors, and then devour all of their candy afterwards. Everyone knows this October ends with Halloween, but did you know it is also Orthodontic Health Month? In honor of Orthodontic Health Month, L&M Orthodontics would like to share some great tricks for a fun and safe Halloween celebration with healthy Halloween teeth!
First, wed like to share some Halloween tips put forth by the American Association of Orthodontists.
Trick-or-treating safety guidelines:
- When choosing a costume, try to wear light or reflective colors.
- Choose to use face paint instead of masks (the better to see with my dear J).
- An adult should always accompany young Trick or Treaters.
- Carry a flashlight for when it gets dark.
- Before digging in, have an adult inspect all those hard earned treats.
Remember, Halloween is a dangerous time for your braces! To protect your braces, try to stay away from the following Halloween treats, or recipes with these ingredients:
- Hard candies(biting into these breaks braces, be careful!)
- Chewy candies(caramel, laffy taffy, skittles, now and laters, starburst, bit o honey, jelly beans, etc)
- Hard pretzels
- Popcorn (if there is a chance of unpopped kernels)
Although this may seem drastic, Halloween does not have to be completely treat-less. Braces-friendly Halloween treats are still plentiful. Overall, candies that arent sticky, chewy, hard or crunchy are generally acceptable. For example, most plain chocolate candies are okay (Hershey bars, Reese Cups, M&Ms, Reese Pieces, etc.), provided you remember to brush and floss afterwards. Although caramel apples and bobbing for apples is not recommended, you can still enjoy thinly sliced apples dipped in yogurt or creamy chocolate sauce. Just let your creativity go wild!
Remember, though, Halloween treats have a TON of sugar in them. This can wreak havoc on your teeth, with or without braces. Halloween can be a time to teach and learn good oral health habits for life, without depriving yourself completely of your Halloween treats (think moderation).
Help your children celebrate Halloween responsibly:
- After your children get back from trick-or-treating or a party, go through their bags of Halloween candy together. Tell them to each pick the 10 or so (whatever number you decide, based on factors such as age) treats they want the most.
- Get the unpicked treats out of sight. You can donate them to a food bank or freeze them if you can’t bear to throw them out.
- Set a certain time of the day when its Treat Time. They can choose a piece of candy at that time only, and this will keep them from asking about it all day long. Perhaps its after dinner each day that they enjoy a piece of their cherished candy. Its something to look forward to!
- Treat Time should always be followed by Brush Time because we dont want those sticky, sweet treats staying on our pearly whites! Until a child is 7 or 8 years old, a parent should help with teeth brushing, not simply supervise. Even after age 8, parents should supervise brushing. That includes friendly reminders to older children to brush and floss until they get to high school, when it should be a habit.
- You should replace toothbrushes every three or four months anyway, so make Halloween an occasion for getting your child a new brush! When children like the toothbrushes, they are more likely to enjoy brushing.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN from the entire team here at L&M Orthodontics!