Avoid a haunted mouth
You can’t hide from candy at Halloween, so children’s dentist Dr. Ashley Tercero has a trick to prevent your kids’ sweet tooth from haunting their mouths:
Eating a handful of candy at one sitting is better for your teeth than snacking piece-by-piece throughout the day, says Tercero, owner of Yakima Pediatric Dentistry.
“When parents want to limit the amount of junk food kids have, they tend to ration it out,” she says. “From an oral health perspective, that’s probably the worst thing you could do.”
The explanation: Each time you eat a piece of candy, it coats the teeth with sugar. Bacteria living in the mouth then feed on the sugar, resulting in the production of acids that eat away at teeth and cause cavities. Saliva will naturally clean the sugar off your teeth in about 30 minutes, but the process starts over each time you eat another piece of candy.
Also, saliva production decreases while we’re sleeping, allowing bacteria to wreak more havoc if we go to bed with dirty mouths.
So, Tercero advises parents: “The most important brushing is the nighttime brushing, and make sure it’s after the kids have eaten their last meal.”
— Sara Bristol
Filed under From the Mag, Health