AAPD Offers Halloween Tips That Scare Away Cavities and Promote a Healthy Holiday

Oct 04, 2010, 09:00 ET from American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

CHICAGO, Oct. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), the recognized leader in children's dental and oral health, is providing parents with recommendations on how to help preserve children's teeth during Halloween and throughout the year.

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AAPD offers the following tips that allow children to enjoy Halloween fun, while keeping their teeth healthy and establishing a foundation of a lifetime of oral health, including:

  • Mix in healthy snacks along with Halloween candy: A balanced diet is one that includes cheese, fruits, vegetables, grains, lean meat, milk and yogurt.
  • Be the tooth-healthy house on the block: Pass out alternative treats to ghouls and goblins such as cracker snack-packs, trail mix packs, rice crispy treats, etc.
  • Avoid chewy treats that tend to stick to teeth and cause more damage.
  • Monitor candy consumption: Only allow Halloween treats in moderation.
  • Take the fear out of flossing: Teach children flossing techniques for improved oral health at Halloween.
  • Make tooth brushing fun: Seasonal tooth brushes featuring Halloween themes get children excited about taking care of their tiny teeth.
  • Don't be afraid of the dentist: With all of the sweet treats consumed around Halloween, now is a great time for parents to schedule a pediatric dental appointment for their children.

"Let's face it, Halloween is a holiday that every child looks forward to and embraces each year," stated Dr. John R. Liu, President of the AAPD.  "Rather than denying children the option to trick or treat, we advise that parents maintain their regular routine.  In anticipation of their candy consumption, choose each child's favorite treat and allow them to enjoy one piece after a meal.  The remainder of the candy can then be given to a local homeless shelter or a food bank in order to prevent overindulgence.  Again, the key is to continue doing everything in moderation so that a healthy Halloween celebration can be enjoyed by all," concluded Dr. Liu.

Occasional snacking isn't enough to harm teeth, however, the degree to which children eat Halloween treats, and candy in general, can severely affect dental decay.  In fact, candy is no more likely to cause cavities than most other foods. Children who snack frequently, whether on candy or healthful offerings, are at the greatest risk for cavities.

For more helpful tips to ensure that your family enjoys a happy and healthy Halloween, please visit www.aapd.org.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Founded in 1947, the AAPD is a not-for-profit membership organization representing the specialty of pediatric dentistry. AAPD's 8,000 members are predominately pediatric dentists and primary care providers who deliver comprehensive specialty treatments for infants, children, adolescents and individuals with special health care needs. As advocates for children's oral health, the AAPD aims to promote the use of evidence-based policies and guidelines, foster research concerning pediatric oral health, and educate health care providers and the public to improve children's oral health. For further information, please visit the AAPD website at www.aapd.org.

SOURCE American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry