26 Oct 2011

Keeping kids’ teeth healthy during Halloween

With Halloween approaching and kids preparing themselves for a fun-filled night of trick-or-treating, dentists are encouraging parents to make sure their kids practice discretion when consuming sweet treats, as they can be a nightmare for kids' oral hygiene.

According to the Ontario Dental Association, tooth decay is the second-most common reason why kids are absent from area schools. Much of this results from eating too much candy, as the bacteria that causes tooth decay feeds on sugar.

Harry Hoediono, ODA president, said parents should allow their kids to eat candy but to make sure they practice some self-restraint and continue good dental habits.

"The trick for parents is to moderate the intake of sweets and make sure kids stick to their brushing and flossing routine," said Hoediono.

The ODA said one way parents can keep candy consumption down is by trading fun stickers or other small gifts for treats that are particularly bad for their teeth, such as caramels, toffees and lollipops. Parents may also want to collect all of their kids' candy and put it in a portable storage container, allowing them to take a treat at various times during the day.

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