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Boo! How to Keep Charlottesville’s Kid’s Teeth Safe in a Candy Season

added on: October 10, 2012

Halloween is such a fun time! Dressing up and going trick-or-treating can be one of the highlights of a kid’s year. But you also know what sugar can do to your children’s teeth. We know the dilemma – we are parents too. As long as you are careful and limit the candy consumption, enjoying sweet treats on Halloween can be fine.

Why be careful even on holidays or special occasions? Dental decay affects more kids than asthma and is the most chronic childhood disease. Here are some tips on what you can you do to keep your children’s teeth protected, even during one of the most candy and dessert intensive holidays of the year.

Start by paying attention to the kind of candy your kids get.  Not all candy is equally harmful. Sour candy is perhaps the worst because of the high acidity content. This acidity can have a similar effect as battery acid and has more power to damage teeth than regular candies.

Next, consider how often your kids consume candy. Dr. Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation says that “The key thing for parents to remember is that it is how often sugar is consumed, rather than how much sugar… It takes the saliva in the mouth up to an hour to neutralize the acid.” We recommend that parents keep the bags for their children and allow a treat after meals or substitute tooth friendly Xylitol, treats. We don’t think you should eliminate Halloween candy completely. That would be ghoulish!

For more information about caring for your kids’ teeth, call me Dr. Jack Kayton, at my Charlottesville Dental Office at 434.977.3939.

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