Don’t Let Sweet Treats Turn Sour
As October winds down and we approach Halloween, dentists and hygienists prepare for a special day in oral health. November 1st is National Brush Day, held honor the toothbrush that so heroically chases away an army of little cavity-causing plaque ghouls.
The Sour Truth of Sugar
More candy means more plaque, even with regular brushing. Plaque haunts the teeth by causing bad breath, gum disease, and decay. Dental caries, commonly known as cavities to most kids and parents, are caused by a combination of bacteria and sugar that produces an acid that eats through the tooth’s precious enamel. Once the enamel is gone, a dentist must remove the rest of the decay and place a filling or crown to stop the cavity from advancing. Advanced dental decay looks like moldy swiss cheese.
Halloween traditions are a rite of passage to many. Parents look forward to their child’s first Halloween and dress their little pumpkins as peapods, elephants, foxes, or any number of adorable costumes.
In a surprising study, University of Colorado researchers found that children collected approx. 22 lbs of candy on Halloween. For comparison, the World Health Organization recommends sugar be limited to 23 grams, which is equal to just five mini Reese’s peanut butter cups.
Many parents try different tactics to reduce the amount of sugar including buying back some of their child’s candy, allowing their child to keep their favorites and disposing of the rest, parceling out over a span of time, and many others. While some candy negotiations are successful, and others are not, we know that a guaranteed path to successful oral health is excellent brushing.
Before you head out for trick or treating, consider providing a high-protein, low-carb dinner to your little goblins. There will be plenty of carbs when they go through their sugar sack later that night. We’d love to hear the Halloween tricks you do to manage candy in your house. Let us know on our Facebook page.