SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 27 Halloween would not be Halloween without candy and sweets, but it is important to remember that the threat of cavities and tooth decay never takes a break. It is unrealistic for parents to expect their children not to indulge a little this time of year, but there are several tips the California Dental Association recommends to promote good oral health now and through the year.
Go to www.cda.org for more information on maintaining your oral health or to find a CDA dentist in your area.
The California Dental Association is the non-profit organization representing organized dentistry in California. Founded in 1870, CDA supports its members in their practices and service to the public through innovation in education, advocacy and related programs. CDA also contributes to the oral health of Californians through various comprehensive programs and advocacy. CDA's membership consists of more than 24,000 dentists, making it the largest constituent of the American Dental Association. For more information, visit cda.org
.-- Offer healthier alternatives to candy - This does not have to mean carrot sticks and toothbrushes, but treats sweetened with 'xylitol,' a natural sugar substitute, help prevent plaque build up on teeth. Offering sugar-free gum after eating candy is a great way to fight the bacteria that causes tooth decay and the chewing motion also stimulates the flow of saliva, which helps cleanse teeth. -- Monitor you child's candy consumption - Parents should be in charge of Halloween candy, not children. Establishing a candy bank is a popular option and giving access to the bank after eating dinner helps to limit the quantity of candy consumed. This is also an ideal opportunity to teach about the importance of moderation. -- Better to eat two pieces at once than separately over the day - It is the frequency that is the most important factor in tooth decay not the quantity. This helps to limit exposure to acids that are left behind on teeth after eating. -- Avoid sticky candies like taffy and gummy candies - Anything that stays in the mouth or on the teeth for an extended period of time leaves acid on teeth that causes tooth decay. This includes hard candies, lollipops, caramel chews and the always dangerous jaw breaker. -- Reinforce positive oral health habits - Remind your child to brush their teeth after every meal or at least twice a day and to floss each day. Look at the labels of candy and other foods to show your child what to look for on the packaging. Anything that ends in -ose like glucose, fructose, and sucrose are sugars and should be avoided. -- Visit a CDA member dentist - In order to maintain proper oral and overall health all children should visit a dentist twice a year starting at age 1 or when their first tooth comes in.
SOURCE California Dental Association