The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry has released some helpful guidelines to ensure that your patients walk away from Halloween without any frightful dental damage.
Make sure Mouth Monsters don't over stay their welcome this Halloween!
Trick or Treat? As the end of Oral Health Month approaches, so does the biggest sugar rush day of the year — Halloween. As children go around collecting bags full of candy, indulging inn sugary drinks and snacks at parties and school gatherings, it’s important to take steps to avoid any lingering monsters in their mouths.
“Sweet treats impact teeth in different ways,” says Dr. Joseph Castellano, president of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) in a press release. “Some are better or worse for your children’s smiles. Try to avoid chewy or sticky candies like caramels, gummies and sour candies.”
There are alternative options that can help curb a sweet tooth, like chocolate milk, pretzels, and crackers. While it may be hard to avoid candy all together, looking for sugar-free options and darker chocolates are a bit better than their counterparts.
If you are planning, or participating in a Halloween event, make sure to offer healthy treats, and distribute non-food items as treats — rubber balls, temporary tattoos, and key chains are all great alternatives.
This doesn’t mean that all the fun is off the table. Advise your patients (and their parents) that one Reese’s Cup is not the end of the world. But encourage them to brush their teeth and swish their mouths with water after indulging on the peanut butter and chocolate delight.
When returning home from a night of trick-or-treating, make sure that parents screen the bag of candy. If you are getting rid of candy, you can tell your child that you ate it (who knows you may even end up on Jimmy Kimmel),or let them upgrade their bag of candy for another treat.
Of course, once the candy is away from the child, it is also important for adults to practice the same measures to maintain their personal oral health!
About the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry is the recognized authority on children’s oral health. As advocates for children’s oral health, the AAPD promotes evidence-based policies and clinical recommendations; educates and informs policymakers, parents and guardians, and other health care professionals; fosters research; and provides continuing professional education for pediatric dentists and general dentists who treat children. Founded in 1947, the AAPD is a not for-profit professional membership association representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. Its 10,800 members provide primary care and comprehensive dental specialty treatments for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs. For further information, visit the AAPD website at http://www.aapd.org or the AAPD’s consumer website at http://www.mychildrensteeth.org.
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