Dr. Michelle Stafford, a Board Certified Pediatric Dental Specialist here in Portland, offers some great tips for parents as they prepare for the candy frenzy that happens during Halloween and into the fall and winter holidays.
- Save candy for special occasions, like holidays and other special days. After your child indulges on any and all candy on Halloween, brush and floss right before bed – and maybe instead of the recommended two minutes, try THREE!
- Parent supervision of brushing for kids under age 7 is always the best idea (children develop the strength and motor skills necessary for proper brushing about the same time they can write in cursive) and especially after a sugar party!
- Decide which candies might “disappear” the day after Halloween – especially those that are sticky. Sticky and sour candies are the very worst for teeth (even fruit snacks, fruit leathers, and some dried fruits) – getting caught in deep grooves and wearing away the protective enamel on the outside of the tooth which helps protect against decay and infection. Chocolate is much better on the teeth!
- Keep sweets at mealtimes only, as a dessert, and rinse with milk or water after snacking.
- If your child is drawn to sweet treats, try switching for a gum that contains Xylitol (Trident and Orbit both contain this great naturally occurring sweetener). Xylitol has been shown to have many of the same benefits as fluoride, fighting oral bacteria that causes cavities.
One of Dr. Stafford’s favorite events around the fall holidays is the Annual Candy Exchange at World of Smiles, Pediatric Dentistry! Now in its fourth year, kids can bring their unopened Halloween Loot in and trade for toys. Kids will weigh their baskets on the scale, and the more they bring in, the more toys they get to choose! All hard candies will be donated to the Armed Forces Recruiting Centers to send overseas to troops. Kids and their families are encouraged to bring a letter or card to send with the candies as well to help encourage our soldiers during this holiday season.
World of Smiles, Pediatric Dentistry will be hosting their fabulous candy exchange November 1st – 7th during regular business hours at 11790 SW Barnes Rd, Suite 280, Portland OR 97225. For more information, check out www.visitworldofsmiles.com/community or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/visitworldofsmiles!
Contact: Rosalea Peters, 503-626-9700 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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