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Kids Can Enjoy Halloween Candy, Still Protect Teeth

Kids Can Enjoy Halloween Candy, Still Protect Teeth

10/02/11

SUNDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Children can enjoy some Halloween candy and still avoid sugar-related tooth decay, according to Dr. Margaret Mitchell, a Chicago dentist.

Mitchell said the key to preventing tooth decay lies in limiting not only the amount of candy children eat, but also how long the sugar remains in the mouth.

Brushing teeth as soon as possible after eating candy may keep harmful bacteria from developing, she said, and eating the candy quickly in one sitting decreases the amount of time it is contact with the teeth.

Children and parents can take several additional steps to protect their teeth, said Mitchell, owner of the Mitchell Dental Spa. These include:

  • Take inventory. Parents should examine their children's candy and remove anything they consider unacceptable before allowing them to eat it.
  • Avoid anything tacky or gummy. This type of candy can stick to teeth and cause decay.
  • Be consistent. No matter what time of day children eat candy (day or night), they should remember to have good dental hygiene.
  • Take precautions. Before Halloween rolls around, a dentist can put sealants into children's teeth grooves to protect them against corrosion caused by too much sugar.

More information

The American Dental Association has more on preventing tooth decay.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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