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Let’s Talk Candy with Cedar Rapids Pediatric Dentistry

November 2, 2018

Halloween has passed … and thus begins the onslaught of the holidays with all their treats and candies. It can be hard to navigate this as an adult and with your children. Below are a few full simple rules to help keep you and your teeth healthy during these times of celebration.
  • It’s okay to eat candy and treats … in moderation.  It’s important to teach our kids that sweets are ok SOMETIMES.
  • Frequency is more important than Quantity… Any time you eat a treat (or any food), your mouth becomes coated in sugars for about 20-30 mins.  The bacteria in your mouth eat those sugars and release an acid that lowers the pH in your mouth and damages your tooth.  This is called acid attack, and it happens whether you eat 1 candy or 20 candies in that 20 minute period.  Eat treats once then brush your teeth and don’t have any more until next week!
  • Be picky when candy is sticky! If it’s hard to get off of your teeth, skip it.
  • Hard candies can break your teeth and take longer to eat. They bathe your teeth in sugar for a prolonged period of time. This lowers the pH of your saliva and the sugar fuels the bacteria that causes cavities – a perfect storm for decay!
  • Sour candies are acidic. They can actually burn your tongue. They also decrease the pH in your mouth putting your teeth at risk for extra cavities.
  • Chocolates, especially dark chocolate, are one of the better candies for your teeth because they wash off easily!  They’re also delicious and one of our favorite treats all year round!
  • If you want to indulge, do so right after meals! (Like a dessert.) You are less likely to binge and eat too many sweets. And the increased amount of saliva from your meal will help rinse the candy sugars off of your teeth.
  • Snacking often on candy during the day increases your risk for cavities, and it’s not great for your diet.  Remember… frequency is important!
  • Pick your favorites and donate the rest! Senior centers, churches, and many other community centers would probably love to take unopened treats!  You can also mail them to military members.  (Or just throw them away…. Shhhh, the kids don’t have to know!)
  • Drink more water.
  • Stay away from beverages with added sugar like juice, soda pop, or sports drinks.  The candy treats already has enough sugar in it!
  • Enjoy the treats and make them something special!
The holidays are fun, and you only get to be a kid once. It is okay to indulge occasionally. What matters more is consistently brushing
your (and your kids’) teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing once a day, and visiting us twice a year.
Dr. Geneser and Dr. Swenson let their toddlers have some candy treats during the holidays too. We’re happy that we have family and friends
who love them and want to spoil them. As parents, we like to indulge them occasionally too. But we try to limit the amounts they get, and we always make sure to brush and floss their teeth well on days when they have special treats.  Teaching little ones when it’s ok to have sweets and how much is appropriate is an important life lesson.
This time of year, it can also be a lot of fun to give away things other than candy to those sweet little peanuts of ours. Try bubbles, play dough, pens and pencils, slinkies, stickers or tattoos, and slime – all kid favorites!
We enjoy you all and hope that your holiday season is as sweet as you and your little ones are! We are here for you!
Call us anytime at (319) 364-2413 (Cedar Rapids) or (319) 377-5155 (Marion)

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