Changing the Halloween Tradition

***UPDATED: October 31, 2013*** If you are like 80% of people out there, chances are you’re going to dig into the nearest trick-or-treat bag this Halloween, whether it belongs to your child, niece, or neighbor.  There’s just something about having all those sweets around that drives  us to indulge! Of course we know the health ramifications of consuming sugary treats, but hey, it’s only once a year, right?! So go ahead and indulge, but as you’re popping that fun-sized Snickers into your mouth while quickly trying to dispose of the wrapper, try to remember these oral health tips to minimize the consequences.

  • Consume candy in small portions at limited times
  • Brush or rinse with water after eating sweets
  • Grab the sugar-free candy or gum, powdery candy, and/or chocolate.  These are the best options in terms of minimal damage to your teeth.
  • Avoid hard and chewy candy.  These are the toughest on teeth, causing chipped or broken teeth and are more difficult for saliva to break down, leading to prolonged amount of time tuck to teeth.

Happy Halloween from all of us at Miami Dental Sedation Spa!

Did you know that tooth decay is one of the most common diseases among children? It’s even more common than asthma or hay fever.  More than 50% of kids have at least one cavity by the time they are 9, with approximately 80% of all young adults experiencing tooth decay by the time they reach 17.  It is no secret what causes such horrific oral health among our nation’s youth; poor oral hygiene combined with sugary and acidic diets are to blame.  Big changes are needed in order to stop this growing issue in country.  Why not start with one of the largest, sugar-coated celebrations, Halloween?

Every year as the calendar reaches October, dentists and doctors around the nation begin to lecture on the harmful effects of eating too much candy.  I’ve come across countless news articles that beg parents to limit the amount of candy their kids eat, but will that really solve the problem? Why not overhaul the holiday and do away with candy-giving all-together? Kids wouldn’t mind.  No really, they wouldn’t, according to a Medical News Today article, “Kids Recognize That They Eat Too Much Candy During Halloween.” The American Dental Association teamed up with PopCap Games to conduct a nation questionnaire, and the results were shocking.  The survey targeted kids of trick-or-treating age (from 5-13 years old), inquiring about their views on Halloween.  The research found that nearly 94% of American kids participate in trick-or-treating; with 65% claiming it’s their favorite holiday of the year.  Nearly 2/3 or those polled admitted that they believe they eat too much candy during this time with nearly 90% claiming they would still love the holiday if it weren’t so focused on candy.  In fact, 93% said they would prefer to receive a video game instead of candy.

In steps the “Stop Zombie Mouth” campaign.  In an effort to give more “fun” than candy this holiday season, the American Dental Association joined forces with PopCap Games to offer parents, dentists, and other adults, unique trading cards and coupons, good for a free copy of a family-friendly online video game, Plants vs. Zombies.  Coupled with an informative and fun website, the idea is to give the kids what they really want; not candy, but video games.   Knowing that candy will most likely never be completely eliminated from this extremely popular holiday, the website also gives great information on how kids can prevent zombie mouth themselves, with tips and advice on oral hygiene, proper nutrition, and of course, the recommendation to regularly visit your dentist.  There’s absolutely no reason why oral disease should run rampant among our youth, but it will take effort from all of us to put a stop to this disturbing situation.

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