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Halloween Tips from a Pediatric Dentist

In this mini-episode Dr. Stafford shares some tips about how to have fun with Halloween while keeping those teeth happy and healthy.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Dr. Stafford loves Halloween!

  • Realistic approach to sweet treats

  • Ideas for dealing with all that candy

Listen🎧, Read📖, Watch📺! You can listen right here, or with a podcast app of your choice. You can also read the complete transcript below, or scroll to the bottom of this post for the video.

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Hi, this is Dr. Michelle Stafford here today on our podcast Mixed Dentition and today my special guest star is myself. I am going to talk a little bit about Halloween and some tips for parents. You may not know this about me, but I love Halloween. You may know it only because we dress up quite a bit in the office once a week. We usually embrace some sort of theme, whether it be silly sock day or superhero day or silly hat day, but it's because I love to dress up. In fact, this weekend I went to the Chelsea Hicks foundation that had their fundraiser, their annual fundraiser, and I dressed up as a 1920s flapper girl and it was so much fun. I went with some friends and everyone there was dressed up and it was a lot of fun. So for Halloween, I love getting dressed up.

I love getting dressed up with my kids and finding costumes. We have a huge costume box in my house so that the kids can dress up and it's just fun. That's just such a fun holiday. But I do feel a little bit of a quandary because of the candy festival that begins with Halloween. So let me give you some of the tips and tricks that I have as a parent as well as a pediatric dentist. So I think it's unrealistic to expect kids not to go trick or treating or not give them any candy. I get it as a parent, even my kids are allowed to go trick or treating if they want though my kids love to hand out things to kids that come to our house that's like their first love. So if you come to my house, you don't get candy, but you do get a pack of sugar-free Trident gum.

I like Trident because it has xylitol and it has no sugar and it just seems a little nicer than candy. And I have to say parents love the fact that they're, they get something that's not candy from my house. So that's an idea. You could do little trinkety toys instead of candy. I know that parents love it when they go to a house that doesn't have some sugary candy, but of course our kids are going to come home with, depending on how much you go out, buckets, potentially buckets of candy, right? Or a pillow case of candy or a little basket of candy. So what do you do? Well, what we do in my family is my kids get to pick a couple of different pieces of candy. I do recommend if they're going to have something, chocolate is always better than something that is sticky or hard candy.

Those are really stick to the teeth and more likely to cause cavities. But also if they have any fillings, crowns, braces, retainers in their mouth, the hard candy and the sticky candy are the worst option. So better to have a piece of chocolate, let your kids have their candy fill on Halloween. And then a couple ideas. The Switch Witch. The Switch Witch actually comes to my house, she takes all the candy away and she leaves a special toy for the kids and the kids love it. In the morning, they come in and they're like, Ooh, The Switch Witch came and now we have a toy! The other idea that you can do in my office, you can bring all of your candy in and we do something- a candy exchange, so kids bring their bags of candy and they get to trade for toys. The more candy that you bring in, the more toys that you get from us, and I know a lot of dentists in town do this, but you don't have to have an appointment.

Just show up, bring your candy, and we will exchange it for toys for your kids so that they have something that's fun to play with and something to do rather than lots of sugar intake, because of course I worry about kids' teeth, but it's not just their teeth that I worry about in our society. Kids are more overweight. Obesity has become a big issue. Diabetes, heart disease. There's a lot of issues with that. Revolve around a high intake of sugar, so it's better just to get that out of your life. Switch Witch or candy exchange. Those are some ideas. Of course, if you're out and about and the kids are eating candy, at least rinsing with some water would be good. Having some water at hand and on Halloween makes sure you're really in there brushing and flossing, even if your kids are old enough to do it on their own. Good idea for parents to just get in there and help them on the night of Halloween, if your kids have had a lot of sugar intake. So always a good idea to help and I would invite you to stop by the office or visit our website for more information and remember, fill the world of smiles!



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