Can Dentistry help save the environment?
Halloween is just around the corner and it made us think of doing this article. Every year, children dress up in the cutest (or most bizarre costume) ever and they would parade on the streets making their rounds among their neighbors’ houses. Knock-knock they would go and as each door swung open, they would let out a loud, solid “Trick or treat!” They’d hold out their pumpkin baskets in hopes of getting a handful of candy. Chocolate, pretzels, candy bars and orange drops being some of their favorites. Hand them any and they’ll surely smile plenty. Hand them nothing and you’re definitely in for a trick, or a tantrum, or a call from their mom asking you not to be a scrooge.
Anyway, just before the yuletide season hits, the Halloween fever comes on first. It’s a joyous occasion, really. The one night that kids are traditionally allowed to stay up way after their bedtime and parents can’t say one thing. Mind you, children aren’t the only ones hyped for this occasion; adults too, love some Halloween fun. Costume parties, Halloween shopping, haunted houses, and scaring the heck out of the little ones are a few things our adult friends look forward to during this season. I’m pretty sure you like this part of Halloween yourself.
However, amidst all the festivities, one problem becomes a major concern: cavities! With all the candy our kids are chewing and gobbling down in one sitting, maintaining their teeth health becomes a very alarming challenge. And what would seem to be a night of innocent fun suddenly becomes a horrifying and painful experience the day after.
How can we say this? Well, read it for yourself. Read articles about how much candy companies are making during Halloween season. You’d be surprised with how much sugar you’ll be hearing about! Now, let’s go on to the most important part.
If you want your children to minimize their chances of getting tooth cavities, you should begin with watching what they eat. Halloween is a very “valid” reason to eat more sugar, from your children’s point of view at least. So if you don’t want them hating on you because you refuse to give them candy, simply moderate what they eat. You can start by omitting the following sweets from their Halloween diet:
Oh, sweet lollipops! This treat is so common that we even use it in expressions and slang. Trick or treat can never be complete without these scrumptious little (or huge) balls of sugar. But really, you do realize that it’s just melted sugar with some flavouring molded into a ball right? And you know what sugar does to teeth. To be very accurate, it’s not sugar that makes the cavity. It’s the acid or pH level rising within your mouth. Sugar does that; it increases the acidity in your teeth causing them to become brittle and damaged. Lollipops are great and all. They can instantly brighten up your kids’ day. We, dentists, even give it to our little patients after they successfully complete a visit. But please keep your children’s lollipop intake to a minimum. Lollipops stay in the mouth longer as they are dissolved and not chewed. This means prolonged exposure of teeth to sugar. Again, watch out for this treat or you’ll be in for a real trick!
These bears are gummy alright. They’re not too good for your children either. Gummy bears are probably every child’s favorite snack. They’re soft, chewy, gooey, and sweet! They’re literally what children’s dreams are made of. I even remember my daughter telling me one time that she dreamt of gummy bears chasing her and she just ate them all away. A little gory to be a little girl’s dream but I just didn’t mind. It just goes to show how much she loved her gummy bears. But mommies please remember, chewy candy is usually bad news. Forget about the amount of sugar it contains. The fact that it sticks to your teeth for who knows how long is very alarming. Food scraps facilitate bacteria growth. If you add the fact that gummy bears are sweet, the sugar is also frantically raising the pH levels inside the mouth encouraging the development of tooth cavities. Yikes!
Although liquorice isn’t a very popular treat among children. It is still given to them in various occasions, including Halloween! There’s no clear reason why but I can speculate that adults do this to trick children. Anyway, liquorice has a similar texture to gummies. It’s also sticky and chewy and may create problems for you and your children similar to what’s stated above.
Hmm. Everybody loves the sweet, sweet smell of freshly roasted marshmallows. Get a couple of graham crackers and chocolate and you can whip yourself up some homemade S’mores! Marshmallows are soft to the touch and gooey to the bite. It is well-loved by both children and adults. It’s sweet but not too sweet. The gooey texture still makes it a problem for your teeth though! Add the fact that it is almost entirely made up of sugar!
Last but least is Skittles or any type of candy resembling Skittles. These are chewy and colorful candies that tend to stick to the surface of the teeth when chomped. It’s all sweet innocent fun at first, but it can really lead to serious tooth decay problems in the future. The fact that they’re prepacked in relatively large bags doesn’t help much with limiting children’s consumption either. Anyway, it’s okay to eat these types of candies once in a while. Just make sure you get your children to brush their teeth real good after!
Well, don’t let your little angels (or devils) go home without treats today or you’ll be in for a nasty trick. Happy Halloween!
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