It’s that time of year. The trees show their beautiful fall colors. The morning air feels crisp and cool. Many families have decorated their homes for Halloween. Part of the festivities includes candy: Trick or Treat!? How can your family have a tooth-friendly Halloween?
Let’s face it. We all have our guilty indulgences. In my dental practice, I advise my patients (adult or child) the same way. I never tell somebody that they cannot enjoy something. I do educate them on the risk of too much sugar in their diet and the benefits of moderation. For most of us, it takes a long time to learn how to balance treats vs healthy foods. The sooner your child learns this discipline, the better.
The Science of a Tooth-Friendly Halloween
Let’s remove the emotions and look at eating Halloween candy scientifically. Saliva contains bicarbonate which neutralizes acid that causes decay. Salivary flow peaks at meal times. It decreases between meals and at nighttime. So, a tooth-friendly Halloween starts with eating candy at mealtimes. (For the same reason, one should eat fruits for a between-meal snack).
Being a realist, I question how many children adequately brush their teeth after lunch at school. So my advice, let them have one or two pieces of candy immediately after dinner with the understanding that they brush afterwards. For younger children, I suggest parents do a second brushing.
In addition, keep in mind that sugarless gum provides a great alternative to sticky candy.
Last, the American Dental Association (ADA) provides an article called Halloween Candy: Your Dental Health Survival Guide. The Guide provides specific information including the fact that chocolate offers a more tooth-friendly choice than gummie or hard candy.
Mark A. Knollman, DDS
Button batteries now power many devices are now powered by small devices. If a child ingests one, serious harm or death can occur.
Since young children are naturally curious and often put anything and everything in their mouths, dispose of button batteries correctly by taping both sides of the used battery. Always consult with proper municipal officials for the best way to dispose of any hazardous material.
Lithium batteries are especially dangerous.
Please observe this modern danger to children and be very careful about the use and disposable of “button batteries!”
Now that many children are back to school, it may be time to take a close look at the packs they use to carry books and schools supplies with them.
Now, many young students use backpacks. If the pack is too heavy or the contents not distributed in the right way, back pain, shoulder strain and muscle pain can occur.
Keep the packs to no more than 10 to 15 pounds in weight and make sure the straps are wide and adjusted correctly. School is a challenge enough with adding back pain to it.