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23 October 2019

Minimising the risk to children’s teeth at this spooky time of year!

Halloween is just around the corner, and whilst it might be a scary time for young children, the most frightening aspect for their parents is the amount of sweets that they are likely to get their hands on.

As children have little restraint when it comes to eating sweets, it is important that, whilst not spoiling their fun, we step in for their own sake.

You might think that you would be fighting a losing battle trying to stop them eating all of their trick or treat goodies, but with a bit of care and a little bit of ingenuity, there is actually quite a lot that our Surbiton parents can do to help protect their children’s teeth at this time of year.

Parental supervision

If you are completely unable to stop your children eating lots of sweets, and our following tips don’t help, the least that you should do is to make sure that they clean their teeth really well before they go to bed, and certainly don’t allow them to eat any sweets after they have cleaned them.

Use a timer to make sure that they do clean their teeth for the right amount of time, at least 2 minutes. Make sure also to supervise them when they clean their teeth and don’t be afraid to add extra time if they start to play or talk during those two minutes, a situation that is quite possible given the quantity of sugar they will probably have consumed!

Educate them

Taking a little time to educate your children about how sweets can harm their teeth before the big day can also make a real difference. Explain how while sweets can be fun, too many can cause toothache and they should consider choosing other options where available. Advise them also that it is especially a good idea to avoid the stickier types of sweets that will cling to your teeth for longer periods of time.

Offer alternatives

Not only can you offer alternatives yourself when ‘trick or treaters’ knock on your door, but you could also do a ‘deal’ with your own children regarding the sweets that they received.

The chances are that they will have already eaten some of the sweets whilst out, so try, when they get home, to limit any additional sweets before they go to bed. Hopefully, the following morning, the excitement of the previous evening will have died down and you are more likely to be able to swap their remaining sweets for other options.

It is rare that there isn’t some craze that your kids will be into at any given time. It could be a pop star, a cartoon character or even a game or book. Use this opportunity to offer to swap the sweets for one of these. The chances are that either the boredom of overeating or the queasiness they might be feeling might sway this decision in your favour. If you are wondering what to do with the sweets if they agree, our suggestion would be to store them away and ration them out sensibly over the coming months. It may feel like a waste to throw them away, but if you do, rest assured that there is limited nutritional goodness in most of them and perhaps you shouldn’t feel too guilty.

Finally, when it is all over, check to see when your child last had a dental appointment for a check up. If they haven’t seen a dentist in the last six months and don’t have an appointment booked, our Surbiton dentists will be pleased to see them. To arrange your checkup appointment please call the Confidental Clinic on 020 8399 1291.

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