Americans love Halloween — it’s estimated that in 2015 alone, a total of $6.9 billion was spent on the holiday. On average, that’s about $79 per person spent on costumes, decorations, and CANDY. That last one is why this holiday is also your dentist’s worst nightmare! Kids’ teeth are most vulnerable to tooth decay between the ages of 6 and 14, which also means some of the prime trick-or-treating years. But there are a few steps you can take to make sure your little one has a fun and safe Halloween. Keep reading for these 4 top smile safety tips from your children’s dentist in Arlington Heights!
#1: Eat a Balanced Dinner
On the night before your little one goes out trick or treating, you can help to curb the temptation to gorge on candy throughout the process by filing them up with a balanced, nutritious meal beforehand. You can also have everyone sit down together and put together a game plan for Halloween night — how many houses will you hit? How many pieces of candy can they take and enjoy? Going through these ground rules while you’re sharing a healthy meal is a great way to start off the night.
#2: Careful with the Costume
When you choose your child’s costume, make sure that it’s not putting them at risk of tripping or limiting their field of vision. Sure, your little one may love the idea of dressing up as a many-layered princess or want a mask that covers their eyes, but these choices can make it more difficult to walk or see what’s going on around them — which can lead to broken teeth from falling or other serious injuries. The best costumes are easy to move in and allow them to see like normal.
#3: Review the Haul
Once your little one is finished trick or treating for the night, take a look through what they have brought home. Know that the worst candy offenders are those that are sticky — like taffy or caramel — or very hard candies. Remind your child to eat all candy slowly and carefully, or do your best to lift these out of the pile before your child even notices.
#4: Set Some Rules
You may also want to limit candy consumption to one room in the house to keep them from mindlessly snacking on sweet treats while watching TV or in their rooms. Dedicate a shelf in your pantry to Halloween treats, and let them know it’s perfectly fine to indulge — but not to leave the designated area with the candy.
Halloween doesn’t have to be a scary time for you and your child’s dentist. Follow these simple tips and feel great knowing your child is safe this October 31!
Meet the Practice
Westgate Dental Care offers comprehensive dental care for the whole family. This team is looking forward to a festive Halloween, and they encourage all little patients to have a fun and responsible time as well. To schedule a checkup and cleaning for your little one before or after trick-or-treating, get in touch with your family dentist in Arlington Heights by calling (847) 577-7171 today.