Dental red alert: Halloween candy treats are arriving in your home soon! So, what can parents do to minimize the potential dental damage of all that Halloween candy? (Keep reading to the end of this Halloween holiday dental blog to find big news about our Halloween Buy-Back for those big Trick-or-Treat bags of Sugary treats!)
Dr. Troy King and the dental health professionals at Dentistry for Children have a special plan to minimize the dental
dangers posed by the “Sugar Bugs” of the Halloween loot your children collect. But before we introduce the big plan for Halloween night, we must complete our list of condemned Halloween candies.
Previously we categorized the worst dental offenders, including the sticky candies like caramel and the hard-shell varieties like jaw-breakers.
We have written about sticky treats that invite dental caries (decay.) Likewise, we’ve exposed the hard candies that not only invite decay but also dental emergencies. Thus we have condemned the jawbreakers and the lollipops for their roles in dental cracks, breaks and lost crowns.
Acidic Candy Creates Dental Disasters
We have only one more remaining type of candy on our list of treats to condemn: The Sour Candies. Acid is the ingredient in candies that provide a “sour” taste. Acid in sour candies can even change the pH of your mouth.
We know that acidity weakens and damages the enamel of teeth. Yes, it is the acid which provokes the delightfully sour taste sensation. But at what cost? A gateway for bacteria! What happens when the outer shells of the teeth are thus chemically attacked by the acid? They become more vulnerable to bacteria and cavities.(Bad News!)
Dr. King’s King-Sized Dental News Event: After Candy Check-In, Save Lots of Loot for November 3!
We want children to learn how to make the treats of Halloween last longer. 5 days or a week could be your goal, instead of one big binge. In the name of good dental health habits, we don’t mean every consecutive day. We like teaching kids to see that candy is a once-in-a-while treat, not an every-day occurrence, like lunch.
Now here’s our dental plan for a great Anti-Cavity Candy Check-In/ Buy-Back Game:
1. First of all, don’t forget about Halloween dinner. Have children choose a healthy supper in advance. It can even be a
heavy snack, but it must be a special favorite. Serve it before they depart to a Halloween party or Trick-or-Treat time. (You might be thinking, “Everyone knows they should do that-but read on; there’s more.”)
- We want to emphasize the power of teaching kids to prolong treating time by small amounts over a measure of days, not all in one big binge.
- Your pre-planning of the Check In Game includes deciding how long you want treating fun to continue. Then obtain some snack-pack sized baggies.
After supper, enforce the idea of a candy check-in game, to begin immediately after the treat collecting.2. Here’s where the fun begins. More than just “giving up” their hard-earned treats, we think the check-in should be proactive. Read on to see how kids can take ownership of the candy and willingly do something special with it, besides getting cavities.
When all the Trick-or-Treaters turn in their candy, Parents dump it out on a table, and screen it for open or damaged packages. Then, pass out the baggies to the kids.
- You will help the each child pick and choose 3-4 small treats for each treat bag.
- These will be their snack-packs, which the parents will keep in a safe, kid-proof place,
- and you promise parents promise to will dole out a snack pack each designated snack day.
- Then make sure everyone agrees upon a specific time of day for the snacks. Trading the stickiest or most offensive candy with you is encouraged. They can trade out more offending candies for your stash of less dentally risky chocolate or sticks of sugarless gum.
The Best Parts of the Dr. King’s Anti-Cavity Check-In Halloween Candy Game!
Part of the game is to teach children to discern the size and types of various treats that make a small snack pack. As the kids select the candies for each snack pack, they will learn portioning. This skill is a very important lesson for dental health and future healthy eating patterns.
- There will still be quite a bit of left over candy.
- By the way, according to the ADA, the most tooth-heathy sweets at Halloween or any time of the year include chocolate with no filling. Likewise, sugarless gum with the ADA approved label is a great treat for teeth as it helps to activate saliva and dissolve sugars that might lead to decay.
- Then after the snack-packs are created, pack up the remaining candy and save it until November Third. On that “Candy Buy Back Day”you and your child can bring it to Dr. Troy King’s office at Dentistry for Children. There, we will buy up to 5 pounds worth of it from you. That’s right, we’ll give you cash for your Halloween Candy. See the details below:
Our Great Dental King-Sized Halloween Buy-Back
Friday, November 3rd is our annual Great Dental Candy Buy Back Party! We will “buy back” your child’s candy stash at the dentist’s office. Before we progress another sentence further, let’s reveal the details about the Dentistry for Children Buy-Back Party! Here are the hot details:
Dr. King’s pediatric dental office, “Dentistry for Children”
1390 City View Center in Oviedo
$1 per pound up to 5 pounds
Join us for food, games, prizes and more!
The candy you and your child bring into the office will be donated and shipped to troops overseas. What a great way to give our soldiers a taste of home and show them we support them. That must be why they named this charitable event as part of “Operation Gratitude.” Don’t miss the fun!
Introducing a Dental Holiday and New Tradition For You: November 1
Even as we anticipate Halloween, we try to plan future fun for little ones. Parents, worry no more—the Ad Council with
the Partnership for Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives presents you with the annual event, National Brush Day, November 1!
After all the attention on candy and treats, what could be a more perfect date than the day after Halloween, to celebrate good oral hygiene? The goal is to follow the saying, “Building good habits at an early age sets kids up for a healthier life and a smile that says, “I feel good.”
By the way, when is the last time your kids got to buy their very own toothbrushes? That tiny shopping event could kick-start your family’s celebration of National Brush Day.
You could also start the celebration with a download of a cute, simple brushing chart. Tape it to the bathroom mirror and discuss the value of a week’s good brushing in terms of a small reward.
Remember: 2×2 means 2 minutes twice a day for tooth brushing. So let’s put up those fun but simple charts to remind kids about each day’s quality time with their toothbrushes. The goal of the campaign for National Brush day is to improve the nation’s children’s oral health by educating parents about oral health.
You will find many dental topics at that source, all about what parents should be teaching their kids about their teeth. Likewise, at that same online resource, find some adorable, clever videos for kids to enjoy while they brush.
The video cartoons each engage children while they are brushing and run two exactly 2 minutes. As the video captures your child’s focus during the brushing, it also teaches them how long it should take to brush teeth properly. You know, adult concepts of time are much different than children’s. In kid time, 2 minutes seems “like 2 small eternities.”
Breaking Dental News: An AAPD Silver Diamine Fluoride Guideline
Learn about the new AAPD recommendation the use of silver diamine fluoride, or SDF. What will it mean to your child?
How will the new SDF policy affect the way “pediatric and general dentists treat caries in some instances?” For answers to these and other questions, do not miss our big blog next week.