I promise I’m not being the fun police! Like Christmas and Easter, Hallowe’en is a day that’s usually festooned with delicious lollies and candies – but we’ve known for decades that sugar can be bad for your teeth.
Every year, Hallowe’en in New Zealand seems to grow in popularity, with many organised parties around the country for kids of all ages to dress up in their favourite scary outfits and have fun. And there’s nothing wrong with eating sweets in moderation – as long as you’re taking care of your kids’ dental health the rest of the time, a blow-out on trick or treat night is unlikely to do any harm. If you do feel like mitigating some of the damage though, these tips are for you:
- Enjoy lollies after dinner. This will help neutralise some of the sugary acids.
- Provide options for lollies at Hallowe’en, like cherry tomatoes, strawberries and little sausage rolls or nibbles; even little toys and trinkets.
- Brush twice a day, and always floss before bed.
- Don’t graze on lollies or sip fizzy drinks throughout the day.
- Rinse your mouth with water after eating anything sugary.
- Eat a balanced diet of lean meats, vegetables and calcium-rich foods like milk and cheese.
- Chewing sugar-free gum helps stimulate saliva, which can neutralise an acid attack.
- Avoid ‘cheat’ or hidden sugars, often found in dried fruits, biscuits (sweet and savoury), fruit juices and baked beans.