Friday, October 28, 2005

Candy Anyone?

It's Halloween. Parents keep apologizing to me about their kid’s fondness for candy. Everyone thinks dentists are against all candy all the time. Well, let me just say, let the kids have their candy. My kids eat quite a bit around this time of year. All you need to do is use a little common sense. First, avoid the really hard candies; those really can break your teeth, braces or fillings. I've even seen a hard sucker pull off a crown. Second, brush and floss right after you eat the candy. It's not always the quantity of sweets, but how long they stay around. Sugars are the food for the bacteria that cause tooth decay. A cracker that sticks between your teeth and stays there all day and breaks down into sugars is much worse than one sweet that dissolves right away. Of course, a long-term sugar habit is not good for overall health either. Sugarless chewing gum is actually helpful in preventing tooth decay.

So, eat the sweets (but not too much or you will have some grumpy kids later in the day), then brush and floss. Hey, is that a Milky Way bar over there?


Anonymous said...

As a mom of a diabetic, my child must have a 15 carb sugar to get his blood sugar up when he is low. I am curious to know if certian sugars should be avoided and if he should always brush after these necessary simple sugar boosts. He sometimes needs them several times a day.

Dr. Dean Brandon said...

Here's the dentist type answer in more detail than you probably need, but really you should ask your dentist too because he knows your child best:

As my note said, frequency is more important than quantity as far as sugars or anything like that. So, there is some concern there. However, I don't see it as a high risk. If he has a history of cavities I am more concerned as he might be at higher risk. Still, here's what you can do to ameliorate the affects of the extra sugar/carb attacks:

1. Brush and floss well as I am sure you are doing. That goes no matter what.
2. Rinse out with some water right after or within a few minutes of the dosage. That rinses out the extra in the mouth and gets a little fluoride in there,(if you have fluoridated water).
3. Chew sugarless gum within 30 minutes. Yes, that helps.
4. You could use ACT rinse daily in addition to regular brushing. You can get that at the drug or grocery store. Usually, you use that at a time other that when you just brushed as toothpaste already has 1000 ppm and act has 200 ppm of fluoride.

Don't worry about it too much, not a big deal just a little one. It's much more important to keep his blood suger in good shape.--Dean