Halloween Candy Dos and Don’ts
With the Halloween season officially at a close, you may be already thinking of Thanksgiving and Christmas plans. Chances are though, you still have some of that Halloween candy laying around, especially if your kids stocked up while trick-or-Treating. We know it can be tempting for the whole family to indulge in candy and sweets during this time of the year, so try to follow these tips when it comes to finishing off that Halloween candy.
Store Candy in a Mindful Place
It’s a good idea to not let your children keep all their Halloween goodies to themselves. Instead, try keeping candy stored in a central location – maybe a candy jar in the kitchen. Keeping candy in one location will help prevent binge sessions on candy and can help you as a parent monitor your child’s candy consumption. Storing candy in the kitchen or in a pantry can also help keep a good schedule for eating candy, like right after a meal for example. Generally speaking, most Halloween candy will be good for 6 months to a year – so you can store your leftover candy for a while.
Limit Halloween Candy Before Bed
This rule goes for children and adults alike. Eating candy right before bed is bad for a few reasons. The sugar that is in a candy bar will likely keep you awake for longer than you’d like, especially if you eat a few pieces. This can disrupt your normal sleeping schedule. If you do get a sweet tooth at night, try to limit yourself to just one piece! Another reason to be mindful of eating candy before bed is the sugars can linger on your teeth overnight and cavities are more likely to form. Make sure to brush your teeth after eating candy right before bed. Flossing will do even more to make sure all candy residue is gone from your teeth.
What Candies to Avoid
Most candies are relatively safe to eat, but there are certain ones to avoid, even if it is in the spirit of Halloween. Candy that contains real foods, like chocolate and peanut butter are better than candies that are just pure sugar.Fruit flavored candies like Nerd and Skittles are made up of enormous amounts of sugar and cornstarch which is not only bad for your diet, but can wreak havoc on your oral health. Additionally, they contain chemicals “tapioca dextrin” and “titanium dioxide” that don’t have any relation to real food.
In addition to the seemingly obvious candies to avoid, its important to not overeat on candies than seem “healthier”. Some candies can be described as fitting a “health halo”, i.e., have claims like less fat or less sugar. Even though these claims are made, the sugar content or fat content is not significantly less enough to be considered healthy. However, because consumers feel better about these “healthier” options, they will tend to overeat these candies. So just be mindful of the amount of these types of candy you are consuming, and always just read the nutrition label!
Avoid candy that is crunchy as well, especially if you wear braces. Candy with nuts, or something that is sticky like caramel may be hard on the teeth and braces. Candied apples can especially be hard on teeth, so try cutting up the apple instead of biting right in to it. Talk to your family orthodontist if you have concerns about what specific candies to avoid during the Halloween season.
At White, Greer, & Maggard Orthodontics, we want your smile to stay happy and healthy while enjoying all the treats that Halloween and the fall season have to offer. If you do happen to run into any problems while enjoying those tasty treats, contact us to schedule an appointment! We offer orthodontic services for your entire family including braces and Invisalign!