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How can I keep my child's teeth healthy during Halloween?

Keep your child's teeth healthy during Halloween by following these tips:
  • Wash it down. After your kids tire of stuffing themselves on Halloween candy, make sure they finish with a big glass of water to clean sugar residue off the teeth. Better yet, send them to brush their teeth and go to bed.
  • Avoid sticky situations. Limit sticky candies like toffee and gummy candies because the sugars stick to the teeth (Remember trying to pick a Bit-O-Honey out of your teeth -- and worrying that you'd pull out your fillings in the process?). Also go easy on hard candies like suckers, Jolly Ranchers and Tootsie Roll Pops (combines both sticky and long-lasting) because the sugars linger in the mouth longer.
  • Satisfy your child's chocolate craving. The occasional piece of solid chocolate is better than one filled with a gooey center -- again because it won't stay in your child's mouth as long, meaning the bacteria won't have as long to feed on the sugars. That means a Hershey's Kiss or a Nestlé Crunch mini-bar may be a better choice than a Snickers or a 3 Musketeers -- especially if the kids won't be able to rinse or brush when they finish.
  • Chew on this. If you're traveling or are somewhere your kids can't rinse or brush after eating candy, give them a piece of sugar-free gum to help cleanse the mouth. Just make sure it's sugar-free -- regular gum only adds to the problem. (As a parent, you should determine when it's safe for your child to chew gum.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.