Halloween is perhaps the most dreaded occasion by a dentist because of the sugary treats being handed out to kids, which can endanger their dental health. Here are some things to keep in mind when preparing for the next one.
As reported by The Courier-Journal, pediatric dentists all over America agreed upon the inevitability of kids being handed sweets during Halloween, but they also gave suggestions on what kind of treats to give to children who are trick-or-treating:
Instead of choosing gooey candies, such as caramels, that tend to stick to the teeth, go with antioxidant-rich dark chocolate — in moderation — or even better, sugar-free gum that contains saliva-promoting, tooth-protective Xylitol, he said.
“If we can have the culture, instead of giving candy, giving gum, it would be the ideal,” said Martinez, director of the DMD Pediatric Dentistry Program at University of Louisville.
Avoid: Chewy, sticky candies, such as gummies and caramels, as well as sour candies.
Better: Milk chocolate or snack-size packets of pretzels or crackers.
Best: Sugar-free gum with Xylitol, and antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
Non-food alternatives: Temporary tattoos, stickers, glow sticks.
When an occasion like Halloween arrives every year, it’s always best to get into the spirit of it. No one wants an Uncle Scrooge or a Grinch for this kind of festivity, but keep in mind that Halloween is mostly a candy festival, where candies are overflowing, and your trick-or-treating child might suffer toothaches, or worse, tooth decay, if you don’t do the proper preventive measures necessary.
According to pediatric dentists, kids tend to chomp and chew candy, especially fruity hard candies with gooey centers, rather than suck and savor them. This tendency may lead to cracked or chipped teeth, and it may even hurt their gums.
Caring for your kid’s dental health always starts at home. Impress upon your kids the importance of brushing their teeth regularly and laying low off the sweets. Regular visits to your East Cobb pediatric dentist can also help keep their teeth and gums healthy.
On the other hand, if toothaches or other dental problems are already afflicting your little one, it’s always best to consult a practice specializing on dentistry for children in East Cobb, such as Herrin Pediatric Dentistry. They can also give recommendations as to how your child can take better care of their teeth.
(Source: Choosing treats wisely can help protect teeth, The Courier-Journal, October 31, 2014)