Our Mum Expert, Dr. Rafif Tayara aka The Toothfairy is here again with her advice how to deal with the Sugar Monsters on Halloween. We have a nice community and we always go for "treat and trick" and, of course, is always in the evening. It's hard to keep the kids away and make them eat as less candy as possible.
Below, dr. Rafif will give some tips what to do and how to do it but I can also add my two cents: first of all we teach the kids about taxation, meaning like 45% of the candies go to us, the parents. Second of all, we hide like 50% of the rest and give them back at Christmas.
But here is the expert piece of advice.
Halloween is here, which for most children means bags of free candy and a chance to build a stockpile of sweets for the winter. No surprise, Halloween can also present parents with a variety of health and safety challenges. It’s OK to eat that candy on Halloween but it’s important to have a plan.
1. Set the Rules and plan a check point
Even before your children leave the home for Halloween activity, set the rules. Talk to them and explain the reason for such rules. Let them know that these rules are for their safety and well-being. Make them understand that not following the rules may resort to consequences.
For example, you may set 5 candies in a day and then segregate candies into packs. In this way, you teach your children how to moderate things. Without control, kids tend to consume candies to their heart’s content, as if there’s no tomorrow.
2. Educate Them
Teach your children how cavities and tooth decay develops in the mouth. Show them pictures and videos so they can see how scary these dental problems can be. Help them understand the effect of consuming too many sweets.
3. Time It Right
Teach your children to only eat candy after a meal. Saliva production is increased when we eat.
4. Avoid Sticky Situations
Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
5. Drink More Water
Let them practice drinking more water after eating candy. Water helps wash out the sweets that may get stuck and develop into plaque, which will be harder to remove at a later time.
6. Stay Away from Sugary Beverages
This includes soda, sports drinks and flavored waters. When teeth come in frequent contact with beverages that contain sugar, the risk of tooth decay is increased.
7. Brush Twice a Day
Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste. Remember, replace your toothbrush every three or four months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
8. Take your child to a pediatric dentist twice a year.
Regular visits to a pediatric dentist can help prevent problems from occurring and catch those that do occur early, when they are easy to "treat."
Have a Happy Happy Halloween,
Dr Rafif Tayara
Pediatric Dentist @ Dr Michael’s Children Dental Center, Dubai.