Sweet Tooth Substitutes
by Bailey - Did you know that every year 35 million pounds of candy corn are produced? Yes that’s right, we’ve finally reached October, which is quite possibly one of the most fun months of the year, why you ask? Halloween. Growing up I always looked forward to Halloween, not only due to the fact that I would dress up as any character or animal I wanted... but because of the free candy. My family and I would bring out the large pillow cases to stock up on all of our favourites. After a night of collecting we would sort through the stock pile of sugary goods we collected to decide what we liked and disliked, there usually wasn’t a large pile of the latter. This stock pile of candy was a gold mine to me and my brother and we would spend all of December in a sugar detox from the amount of candy consumed. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were accompanied by mini kit kat bars and tootsie rolls. When I think back to the amount of sugar I consumed at this time I am very grateful that my mother always enforced brushing after sweets. I know that I am going to make a few little enemies with this blog post but here it goes. As someone that works in the dental field I have found a few of the best recommendations for avoiding cavities this Halloween season.
1) Moderation: We all love candy! Instead of taking away the candy all together or eating it all in one sitting, we would recommend only a few of our favourite treats in one sitting. Decide on a time during the day that a Halloween treat or two is ok and stick with it!
2) Brushing: make sure that a schedule is set for brushing after having Halloween snacks (don’t forget that floss!)
3) Make it fun: this time of year there is a large handful of products based towards Halloween. You can find tooth brushes and tooth paste at your local drug store with all sorts of Halloween characters on them (some people even hand out fun toothbrushes instead of candy )
4) Stay away from sticky: we’ve all had those caramel squares in our candy buckets, these candies and ones of the same consistencies are one of the main culprits to decay. These candies get stuck in between teeth and on biting surfaces, making it hard to remove.
5) Do a swap: when sorting through your child’s bag of goodies, swap out some of the sugary sweets for treats your child still enjoys, but are not as harmful to tooth structure. For example, we could swap out a bag of party mix chips for some trail mix made at home!
6) Hand out alternatives: yes we all love the candy we receive on Halloween, but the little knick knacks we find in the bottom of our bags are always fun too! Things such bubbles, bouncy balls, pencil toppers or even mini bottles of water are always a source of entertainment to the little ones and don’t cause any sort of decay!
7) Make your own: If you don’t want too much sugar eaten by your family on Halloween we recommend making your own healthy substitutes. Some of the recipes available online are healthy, delicious and make for a great time with the family all getting involved. Websites such as pinterest are where we find our inspiration!
Have a fun and safe Halloween!