Halloween is just around the corner. For kids, it’s one of the most highly anticipated holidays of the year as they dream of the sugary loot they’re about to collect. For dentists, not so much. They see an 80% jump in emergency visits around Halloween compared to other times of year.
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry reports that Americans spend $9 billion on candy each year and all that sugar affixes onto and in between the teeth of 41 million kids ages 5-14, many of whom experience cracked teeth, broken crowns, and of course, extensive cavities.
Beverly Hills dentist Shawn Davaie, DDS has some advice for parents. Among his approved treats suggestions are sugar-free gum because it prevents cavities by dislodging food particles between the teeth and increasing saliva production thus neutralizing the acids of the mouth and preventing tooth decay; dark chocolate because it contains antioxidants that can stop bacteria from sticking to teeth and helps to fight gum infections and tooth decay, not to mention that its antioxidants can be good for the heart and may even lower blood pressure; and nuts as they provide extra protein and help prevent sticky substances from getting attached to the teeth.
Among the treats Davaie says to avoid are hard candy as they can crack teeth and stick in the crevices even after brushing, thus setting the stage for decay; chewy candies like caramels, gummy bears and other treats with a sticky consistency as they tend to adhere to teeth for much longer than other candies and makes them harder to remove; and sour candy as it contains citrus-based acids that erode the enamel of teeth and can eventually lead to tooth decay.
Davaie recommends not distributing candies at all and, instead, consider handing out coloring books with crayons, stickers, temporary tattoos, glow sticks, vampire teeth or wax lips.
“Now that COVID-19 rules are becoming less stringent and more kids will be trick or treating this season, it’s important for parents to protect their kids from pitfalls of the holiday by adhering to these simple guidelines,” says Davaie.
SOME RELATED FACTS:
Average Halloween take is 250 pieces of candy amounting to 9,000 calories and 3 lbs of sugar
World Health Organization says that cavities are the most common non-communicable diseases worldwide yet they are wholly preventable.
A whole chain of events takes place in your mouth after you enjoy a sugary sweet. When you consume sugar, it immediately begins interacting with the plaque bacteria to produce acid. The acid then dissolves your enamel slowly, creating the cavities in your teeth, thereby making the acid the culprit for tooth decay — not the sugar.
Tooth decay often results in tooth abscesses where you may need to visit the dentist to have the tooth extracted.
Davaie is founder of LA Smiles Specialist at 9301 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 407
Beverly Hills, CA 90210. For more information, please call (310) 499-4525
Release ID: 89050094