Halloween is coming on fast! Pretty soon the streets of Orlando and surrounding communities will be crawling with ghosts, goblins, and all sorts of spooky creatures! Halloween can be great fun for kids and adults, but there’s also something to be wary of: sugar!
It’s THE cause of tooth decay and Halloween is a good time to be aware of it! Sugar can be just fine in small quantities but it’s the excess of the Halloween season that turn your ghosts and ghouls into sugar buzzed cavity machines!
Preventing tooth decay and excess sugar intake are two very important parts of the Halloween season. At Overmeyer Family Dental we wanted to take the time to pass on some good advice for managing the amount of sweets that get consumed over the next few weeks!
What Does Sugar Do To You?
Let’s start in the mouth – it’s our favorite place to talk about! When you eat foods with sugar in them (and this includes starches like bread, pretzels, and chips!) the bacteria in your mouth gets a lot of that sugar for itself! That bacteria, which is the primary component in plaque, produces harmful acids when it metabolizes sugar. That acid is what causes tooth decay! It eats away at your enamel and before you know it you’re in need of quite the filling!
Sugar doesn’t just put you and your children at risk for cavities – it can also have a serious effect on overall health as well, especially the fructose contained in most candies! Fructose can’t even be used by your body to create energy – it goes straight to the liver to be broken down into fat!
Glucose, the other primary type of sugar, is also found in sweets and is what provides energy. But the amount present in candy is still far in excess of what your body needs, and guess what? The excess gets turned into fat as well!
Prolonged excess sugar consumption can lead to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and other diseases that shorten life expectancy and quality!
How To Handle Halloween
There’s no reason to eliminate candy from Halloween despite what we just talked about above. Responsible snacking is not a problem at all, and we don’t want you to think we have it out for candy lovers!
We do want to help you promote healthy practices for your children this Halloween. They’re going to end up with a lot of candy and you know what they’ll do if left to their own devices: eat it all! It’s up to you to help them make good decisions.
- Before trick-or-treating begins give them a big, healthy meal! This will keep them fueled up while they’re out and also prevent them from overindulging!
- Help your children learn to limit their candy intake by rationing it for them. You can give them the chance to chose a few pieces each day and maybe reward them with extras for completing chores or doing something extra around the house.
- If you’re concerned they may have over-treated you can offer to buy their candy back! For just a dime or quarter a piece you could encourage them to turn over some of that excess sugar in exchange for some spending money! Just make sure they don’t spend it on candy!
- If you decide to leave them with access to all their candy try to have it stored in a common area of the house, like the kitchen. This can keep them accountable to you and encourage good behavior.
- When they do indulge in sweets encourage your children to drink water. Water helps flush away excess sugar in the mouth, bacteria, and acids that can cause decay. It’s a great way to supplement their natural saliva production!
- Make sure your children are keeping up to snuff on their tooth brushing! Twice a day for at least two minutes is the rule but they could probably use an extra go if they’re really eating a lot of candy!
Commit To Good Dentistry Long Term: See Us Today!
Being proactive about you and your children’s oral health is the best way to have a household of healthy smiles. The best way to be proactive isn’t just good brushing and flossing habits – it’s also the regular appointments you make at our Orlando dentist office!
A healthy smile is an important part of a happy life and we’re thrilled to help! Call Overmeyer Family Dental today! You can reach us at 407-603-3839 or you can request an appointment right here online! We look forward to seeing you!