I have to confess, I eat a lot of my children's Halloween candy when they're not looking.
Okay, now that is out of the way, I feel a lot better.
A recent article about the best and worst Halloween candies for children sparked a question.
Curious about the effect of Halloween candy on my children's teeth, I recently asked my best friend, who is a dentist, what her thoughts were on letting kids eat candy on the festive holiday.
Her thoughts on the holiday and its related candy consumption are actually surprisingly laid back.
Her initial response to the question as to whether or not the candy is harmful for my kiddos' teeth:
"A few days of eating candy won't hurt anything. Make sure to drink a little water after each piece of candy, and more importantly keep up with the brushing. Keep the sugar from the candy from sitting on the teeth for too long. As a general rule, be cautious of hard candy, especially with the younger children."
Poking around on the internet, this seems to be the conventional wisdom. I reached out to AreaDentist.org to ask their opinion on the matter, and their advice was the same.
"Everything in moderation. A few pieces of candy won't hurt anything. It gets a little more damaging when candy consumption becomes a regular occurrence, especially without proper oral care," said Christina Phillips, the editor at AreaDentist.
However, if you ask your kid's pediatrician, the answer suddenly gets a little more serious. According to this article from Newsweek, it appears more people are concerned about the effects of sugar on your kid's diet.
Of course, while the article does focus on not allowing too much candy consumption for your kid's health, it does comment that a few pieces will not hurt in the long run.
"It's all about keeping a good diet in the big picture." Phillips said.
One strategy I have heard of recently, is "trading" your kids for their candy. As an example, one of my friends offers a "big, exciting day out of the house" in exchange for the kid's bag of candy. He will take their kids wherever they want to go, and have a special meal out of their choosing.
What are your rules around Halloween candy? Do you let your kids participate? Any fun alternatives to candy consumption? Let me know in the comments below!