October 15, 2003
Contact PDA: (717) 234-5941
PDA Recommends Uncommon Treats to Keep Smiles Healthy This Halloween
To most children, Halloween is synonymous with ghosts, witches and trick-or-treating. Unfortunately, the sugary treats your child receives during trick-or-treating can contribute to tooth decay.
To encourage healthy smiles in your neighborhood this Halloween, PDA recommends age-appropriate, non-traditional trick-or-treat items like sugarless gum, crayons, rubber balls, coins, activity sheets or stickers. You can download free Halloween activity sheets from PDA's website.
PDA also urges you to keep your children's teeth healthy this Halloween by reinforcing proper oral health care techniques at home. In addition to regular visits with your PDA member dentist, make sure you and your kids brush after every meal, or at least twice a day, with a fluoridated toothpaste.
Bacteria linger between teeth where your toothbrush bristles cannot reach, so include flossing in your daily routine. Flossing removes plaque and food particles trapped between your teeth and below your gum lines.
Limit between-meal snacks. Each time you eat foods containing carbohydrates, such as candy, cookies, breads, pasta, potatoes and even corn, acid attacks your teeth for at least 20 minutes. Repeated attacks may cause the enamel to break down, eventually resulting in cavities.
If your kids must have a snack, encourage them to eat healthy, "teeth-friendly" foods like carrots, peanuts, popcorn and sugarless gum. Chewing sugarless gum increases your mouth's saliva flow, rinsing food particles from your mouth.
Avoid decay-causing foods like hard candy and especially avoid sticky foods, like dried fruits or crackers. Sticky foods are among the most dangerous foods for your teeth because they adhere to teeth, giving enamel-destroying acids time to attack.
About the Pennsylvania Dental
Founded in 1868, the Pennsylvania Dental Association (PDA) is comprised of approximately 6,000 member dentists. It is a constituency of the American Dental Association (ADA), the largest and oldest national dental society in the world. PDA’s mission is to improve the public health, promote the art and science of dentistry and represent the interests of its member dentists and their patients. PDA is the voice of dentistry in Pennsylvania. Learn more about PDA.