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Sacking the Halloween Candy: 20 Alternatives to Sticky Sweets
Posted on 12/1/2016 by Kathryn Admin
Looking to cut down your child’s sugar consumption? Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Dr. Binita Katheria recommends limiting the days when sweets are allowed. Following the advice of Food Rules author, Michael Pollan, Dr. Katheria says, “A good rule I follow is to eat sweets only on the days that begin with the letter S, like Saturday and Sunday.”

But this year, Halloween falls on a Monday and little ones will surely be hankering for their hard-earned candy all week long. According to Dr. Katheria, candy that is sour and sticky is especially bad for teeth since it not only sticks to the tooth, but the acid that makes it sour can weaken the top layer of enamel, making it easier for a cavity to start.

  • Spider or skull rings

  • Slime

  • Stickers. Choose fun ones with a Halloween-themed hologram or design.

  • Pencils. Go for black and orange if you can’t find a holiday print.

  • Glow-in-the-dark necklaces

  • Bouncy eyeballs

  • Coins. Try scooping ‘em from a treasure chest with a pirate’s “aargh.”

  • Glow sticks

  • Erasers or pencil toppers

  • Fangs. They’re especially fun if you’re dressed as a vampire.

  • Mini notebooks, markers, and crayons

  • Noisemakers or kazoos

  • Sugar-free gum. Gum promotes saliva production – it’s good for the teeth!

  • Temporary tattoos

  • Bottles of bubbles

  • Sticky hands

  • Sidewalk chalk

  • Silly Bandz for the girls, pirate’s eye-patches for the boys

  • Healthier snacks like trail mix, popcorn, string cheese, or pretzels

  • Chocolate! According to Dr. Katheria, the best type of candy to eat, if you have to have a treat, is plain pure chocolate with no nuts, toffee, or filling.

  • In spite of your efforts, the kids will invariably come home with a big bag of cavity-causing sweets. That’s why Alameda Pediatric Dentistry is holding a Halloween Candy Buy Back to gather the extra treats they’ve collected the night before and ship it overseas for Operation Gratitude. Families with children can come on in and receive cash in exchange for unopened candy on November 1, 2011 from 4 to 6 p.m.

    “This is our first year hosting a candy buyback and we hope to be able to collect lots of goodies for the troops,” Dr. Katheria says. “We’ll have a card making station for the kids to send greeting cards to be mailed with the care packages full of treats and toothbrushes for the men and women protecting our country.”

    Baby teeth, which usually begin peeking in when your child is between six months to one year old, are like space markers for adult teeth. When they fall out prematurely, it may result in crowded or crooked adult teeth, especially towards the back of the mouth.

    “Baby teeth set the stage for adult teeth,” says Alameda Pediatric Dentistry’s Dr. Sharine Thenard, who was recently installed in the exclusive American College of Dentists. “They provide the correct pathway for the adult teeth to come into the gums.”

    That’s why Alameda and Pleasanton Pediatric Dentistry are dedicated to fighting baby bottle tooth decay. According to Dr. Thenard, baby teeth have much thinner enamel than adult teeth, so even the hint of a cavity can quickly progress into a large cavity that can lead to pain, infection, abscess, and swelling in the area. This can spread to the rest of the body.
    “Neglecting baby teeth can result in chronic infection at the tip of the root of the baby tooth, which can lead to permanent deformation or scarring of the permanent tooth under that baby tooth.”

    So, when baby’s done with his milk, remove the bottle from his mouth prior to naptime and bedtime and clean those tiny teeth thoroughly with a water-soaked cloth after each feeding to remove food and stimulate gum tissue. When baby is a little older, simply brush his teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and water.

    Baby teeth will continue to grow in until your child is about 3 years old, then loosen to make room for adult teeth at around age 6. While many of us consider them most when they’re wiggling or ready for the tooth fairy, baby teeth have an important role well before that time comes. In addition to setting the stage for adult teeth, baby teeth help children eat and maintain good nutrition, develop clear pronunciation and speech habits, and feel good about themselves!
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