Halloween, the spookiest time of the year, brings a perfect storm of costumes, haunted houses, and of course, an abundance of sweet treats. Whether you’re a parent supervising your little goblins or an adult reliving the joy of trick-or-treating, it’s important to strike a balance between enjoying the candy and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At DaBell & Paventy Orthodontics, we love a little Halloween candy – but we also know that those little sugar bugs are just waiting for this night to wreak havoc on your kids’ teeth!
Candy, Your Teeth, and Your Health
It isn’t a surprise: candy causes cavities and tooth decay. Our orthodontists love a good piece of candy – we’re looking at you Snickers – but, eating too much candy can cause a lot of issues, not only with our teeth but with our health as a whole. Americans have a diet that is very high in sugar. We wish we could say that Halloween was the exception, that this is the one and only day we indulge, but that isn’t true.
We consume nearly as much sugar on Halloween as we do on a regular weekend evening during the year! It’s easy to forget the sodas and the hidden sugars in sauces like Ketchup or bread, but when Halloween comes we immediately acknowledge the candy crisis. As we give you some dos and don’ts for Halloween, keep in mind that these tips should be applied all year to help keep away cavities and diseases like diabetes.
- Enjoy in Moderation: It’s perfectly acceptable to indulge in some Halloween candy. The key is moderation. Choose a reasonable amount of your favorite treats and savor them mindfully.
- Set Limits: If you’re a parent, it’s a good idea to set candy limits for your kids. Perhaps one or two pieces a day after Halloween night is an excellent place to start.
- Balance with Healthy Snacks: Encourage a balanced diet. After enjoying candy, snack on healthier options like fresh fruit or veggies to offset the sugar intake.
- Check Labels: Be mindful of any allergies, and always check candy labels for potential allergens.
- Donate Excess Candy: This is the time we plug our ‘Candy Buy-Back’! On November 1st and 2nd, bring in your extra candy to DaBell & Paventy, and for every pound you donate, we’ll give you cold, hard cash (okay, just $1). This candy is then donated to charities in our area and organizations that support troops overseas.
- Avoid Overindulging: Binging on candy can lead to sugar crashes, upset stomachs, and unwanted extra calories. It’s best to enjoy treats in moderation.
- Limit Sugary Drinks: Avoid pairing candy with sugary drinks. The combination of sweets and high-sugar beverages can be detrimental to oral health.
- Watch for Allergens: Be cautious of sharing or consuming candies with potential allergens if you’re not sure of the ingredients.
- Be Cautious with Homemade Treats: While homemade goodies can be delightful, they may not always be safe. Avoid consuming homemade treats from unfamiliar sources.
- Don’t Forget Oral Hygiene: After indulging, don’t forget to brush and floss your teeth. Halloween candy can wreak havoc on dental health if proper oral hygiene is neglected.
Healthy Alternatives During Trick or Treat
If you’re hosting Halloween festivities or trick-or-treating for your little ones, consider offering healthier alternatives to traditional candies. Some options include:
- Fruit Snacks: Provide fruit snacks made with real fruit juice for a sweet, but somewhat healthier, option.
- Dark Chocolate: Choose dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content, as it tends to have less sugar than milk chocolate.
- Non-Food Treats: Opt for non-food treats like stickers, temporary tattoos, or small toys, which can be just as exciting for kids.
- Trail Mix: Create your own trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and a touch of chocolate for that sweet and savory combination.
Have a Happy, Healthy Halloween!
We love Halloween candy at Dabell & Paventy, but it’s important to strike a balance. Remember, moderation is the key to a spooktacular and healthy Halloween. Stay safe and we can’t wait to see on during Candy Buy-Back in November!