It’s October, and that means Halloween is upon us at the end of the calendar month. This is a holiday directly associated with chocolate and candy, and it’s often a pediatric dentist’s worst nightmare.
At Walker Pediatric Dentistry, though, we’re prepared for the Halloween season. We can help prepare kids for the big day, particularly any who have tooth issues and might need alternatives to traditional candy to keep their mouth healthy without lowering their enjoyment of the day. With that in mind, here are a few mouth-healthy treats to consider for Halloween.
Chocolate is the primary staple of Halloween, and there’s good news for parents of children with mouth concerns: Your kids don’t have to give it up entirely to stay healthy. Dark chocolate is known to contain polyphenols, natural chemicals that actually prevent the buildup of bacteria that sweeter forms of chocolate encourage.
Not only this, but polyphenols also prevent any bacteria that does form in the mouth from turning sugar into acid. This in turn stops acid from attacking and breaking down tooth enamel, meaning it’s far healthier for the mouth. Look for dark chocolate with high quantities of cocoa – at least 70 percent if possible.
Shaped like small oranges, clementines are a similarly sweet citrus snack with some fantastic oral health benefits. This is mainly due to their high vitamin C content, which helps fight off gum inflammation and heals gums as an antioxidant. Vitamin C helps the body create more collagen, an element prominent in cell repair and healing. And best of all, clementines are the perfect size for kids to carry around.
Not all Halloween snacks have to necessarily be sweet, and pumpkin seeds are a great example. They’re a perfect treat to keep kids occupied, with hundreds of seeds they can move through over a period of time. They have lots of fiber as well, a substance that help scrub the teeth and remove any particles that might lead to more bacteria. Pumpkin seeds are also sold in convenient individualized packages that are perfect for the Halloween season.
Yogurt may not be a traditional form of candy, but it’s many dentists’ favorite Halloween snack – it’s both fantastically nutritional and sweet, which checks both boxes we’re generally looking for. Yogurt contains huge amounts of calcium, which assists with the promotion of strong teeth and other bones throughout the body. More calcium means stronger tooth enamel. For Halloween, we recommend healthy yogurt tubes that are both fun for kids and come in a variety of flavors.
For more on some healthy snack alternatives for your kids this Halloween, or to learn about any of our pediatric dental services, speak to the staff at Walker Pediatric Dentistry today.