Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween Candy and Teeth


A while back I did a poll asking if dental posts would be ok and the majority said yes.  I don’t think I will do very many because there were enough that said no and this is not a health blog. 

Halloween is tomorrow and I have some helpful hints about all of that candy.  You would think as a dental hygienist I would be against candy and I am about to lecture that you shouldn’t let your kids have any.  Wrong.  I love Halloween and I love candy, but it is really bad for teeth. 

However, all things in moderation seem to be ok.  If you let your child have access to their candy 24/7 then the chances of cavities increases.  Instead choose a time that they can have some of their candy and then encourage them to drink water with it and brush after if possible. 

The sticky candy (Laffy Taffy) and long lasting (Jolly Ranchers) are the worst. 

It is the frequency of sugar that breaks down the teeth.  Putting a little sugar in your mouth all day long is worse then sitting down for 30 minutes and eating as much candy as you can at one time. 

For example.  If you get a large soda every day and sip it all day long you will get cavities.  If you get that same soda and drink it down with your lunch, then your chances greatly decrease. 

Kids should see a dentist by at least age 5.  The permanent teeth normally start to come in at about age 6.  Kids need to brush on their own to learn how, but until age 8 parents should always help their child brush at least once a day.  Kids don’t have great coordination and let’s face it, they just don’t want to spend very long scrubbing their teeth.


Floss is the only way to clean in between.  I love the throw away flossers.


They make it so much easier to get the job done.

I think fluoride is VERY important.  Think of it like polyurethane.  A coat of it will protect your furniture and make it durable.  Fluoride does the same for teeth.  It makes the teeth harder and stronger.  It is really important for kids with braces.  I recommend prescription strength. 

Ok lecture time is over.  Have a Happy and Safe Halloween tomorrow. 



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