This Halloween, will you treat or trick your teeth?
The spooky season is upon us. The one day of the year where we celebrate all things ghouly, ghastly and gory in the name of ‘All Hallows Eve.’ It’s the season that officially marks the end of all things bright and beautiful, where the nights draw in and we are faced with cold dark winters.
It all sounds rather bleak and sinister, but modern-day Halloween has evolved into more of a fun celebration, especially enjoyed by the kids. It’s the one time of the year that they get to indulge in mischief, costumes, and games, and of course much to their delight a bounty of sweet, sticky treats.
After Easter, this is one of the worst times occasions for subjecting our teeth to a scary overload of sugar. All sense of moderation is cast to the shadows when the trick or treaters return laden with sugary snacks. Quite frankly it’s a complete horror show for our teeth, who get a short, sharp, shock from the spike of sugar.
We all know what kind of damage sugar can do to our teeth. Plaque, tartar, cavities and gum disease are just a few of the dangers that can rear their nasty head following a bout of spookilicious sweets. Whilst death and decay are very in keeping with the spirit of the season, it’s hardly the look we want for our gnashers, throughout the rest of the year.
You may think that it’s the kids that are most at risk from Halloween related dental issues, but let’s admit it, parents are just as tempted to reach into the loot for days, maybe even weeks on end just to see the back of it all before the Christmas feasts begin!
Nevertheless, nobody likes a party pooper, so let’s explore some ways to still enjoy the fearsome festivities, whilst still being kind to our teeth during Halloween.
Make it a Healthy Halloween for your teeth
It’s all too easy to stock up on extra chocolate, sweets and treats as part of the weekly shop when the supermarkets cater so well for mindless grab and go purchases. However, there are plenty of other ways to celebrate a night of fright without terrorising your teeth. It might take a little bit more effort, but there is plenty of fun to be had and you’ll be thanking yourself in November that you are free from toothaches and expensive dental bills.
Alternative Halloween Delights
You don’t need to face the dreaded ‘trick’ by not offering something to the door knocking devils. You can stand out from the crowd and offer your trick or treaters something a little different in their pumpkin stash. Firstly, it will make their collection a lot more interesting to unpack and secondly it will mean your own cupboards aren’t loaded with tempting treats.
Spooky gadgets and gizmos. Yukky slime, sticky cobwebs. Eerie arts and crafts, trinkets and stickers will offer hours of fun for the kids. Themed knick-knacks are cheap and cheerful, readily available and can easily slip into a loot bag to reduce their overall sugar consumption. It’s a win, win situation for all!
Turn the trick on them and make them work for their treats! There are plenty of fun ways to celebrate and divert attention away from the sugar obsession. Set up some Halloween games and offer the winner a special, non-sugary prize. This could be the highlight of your neighbourhood and the kids will soon forget about sweets when they’re having fun. Here are just a few ideas:
- Bobbing for apples – those that can fish an apple from a bucket of water with their teeth, win a prize
- Toilet Paper Mummies – the first team to wrap their mummy and finish their toilet paper wins
- Pin the nose on the witch, Pin the smile on the skeleton, Pin the spider in the web – there are countless options for Halloween style ‘pin’ games and there can only be one winner
- Musical statues – find a great Halloween playlist and get the kids dancing until the music stops
- Eyeball Pong – just like beer pong, but with eyeball ping pong balls
- Pumpkin Stomp – tie 2 orange balloons to each child’s ankles and let them stomp! The last one standing with 2 balloons wins!
- Prize for the best costume – make it a good one!
Tooth Healthy Treats
You don’t have to rely on chocolate, lollies and haribo to have a good time. There are lots of tasty Halloween goodies that can be made that still offer a tasty, sweet fix but without terrifying toothy consequences.
- Green Slime Pots – made with sugar-free jelly
- Raisin Spiders – edible creepy crawlies from dried fruit
- Grape Eyeballs – add some simple circles to grapes or lychees for a gruesome snack
- Banana Ghosts – have you ever realised how ghostlike a banana can be?
- Sausage Roll Mummies – a couple of beady eyes popping out from the pastry
- Twiglet Broomsticks – a simple twiglet and feathered cheese
In fact, adding eyes or teeth to almost any foodstuff immediately transforms a selection of healthy snacks into a buffet of haunting proportions. The only thing stopping you here is your imagination, but there are plenty of suggestions online if you need inspiration.
Share your treats with those that are less fortunate
We certainly don’t want to suggest offloading the sugar problem elsewhere, but when Halloween results in an absolute gluttony of treats, there’s no reason why it must be consumed by just one household. There will be plenty to go around for all!
Foodbanks have been a saviour for many over the last few years but have to focus on absolute basic necessities. This means that disadvantaged families almost never get to enjoy the privileges that many of us take for granted. If your children have been spoilt with treats this year, maybe there is a local food bank or charity that could help distribute the excess candy amongst those that don’t often get a look in?
Look after your teeth this Halloween
It is inevitable that you may indulge a little more than usual in sugary snacks this October, but there are many ways that you can be kinder to your teeth. Just a few last words of advice:
- Make sure that your normal cleaning routines do not lapse during this time. Your teeth will need it more than ever.
- Try to avoid hard, boiled styles of sweets. Not only are they sky-high in sugar you can crack, chip or even lose a tooth just trying to bite into them.
- Avoid sticky sweets. These tend to linger in the mouth even longer and can get stuck in teeth, giving bacteria an even better chance to take hold.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water after a Halloween binge
- If you feel like you have overdone things, book in for a check-up and clean during the first weeks of November.