Halloween Tips from the FDA and ADA

Posted on October 27, 2014. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Care, Dental Health, healthy teeth, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , |

Halloween Dental and Safety TipsTrick-or-Treating is coming up fast, so we thought we would share some of the FDA’s Halloween Food Safety Tips. Most of these handy tips are a “no-brainer” but it’s always a good idea for a quick checklist to go over with your kids before they head out for their free goodies.

  • Kids shouldn’t snack while they’re out trick-or-treating. Insist that they wait until they get home for you to have a chance to inspect the contents of their bag. To help prevent them from snacking, give them a light meal or snack before they head out. Don’t send them out on an empty stomach.
  • Tell children not to accept; and especially not to eat, anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  • Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
  • Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.

And here are a few Halloween dental tips from the ADA as well.

  • Avoid sticky candies that cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk for tooth decay.
  • Avoid hard candy and other sweets that stay in your mouth for a long time. Unless it’s a sugar-free product, candies that stay in the mouth for a long period of time subject teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
  • Eat Halloween candy with, or shortly after, meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and helps rinse away food particles.

And of course, regular check-ups can help prevent dental problems from occurring or catch those that do occur early, when they are easier to “treat.” If you or your family members are overdue for an exam and cleaning, call the Smile Savers Dentistry office at 410-730-6460 and make an appointment today.

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A Word from Dr. Stewart: Faux Sugars

Posted on January 25, 2012. Filed under: General Dentistry, Oral Health, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , |

It is commonly thought that all dentists hate sugar, and I can see why. Sugar gives the bacteria in your mouth something to use for energy and causes acids to form and then tooth decay happens. But … there is something more insidious than sugar and that is “diet” sugars.

I have been reading and researching about these “sugars” and am scared to learn that these are not sugars at all, but chemicals that taste sweet. Some of these sweeteners have even been linked to such things as rat poison and insecticides. In fact, there are studies showing that a commonly used artificial sugar at 87 degrees breaks down into a poisonous alcohol and then into formaldehyde in your body, which is what is used for embalming solution!

Besides being poisonous, these “sugars,” which have no calories, still act like natural sugar and raise your blood sugar levels and cause your pancreas to make insulin … which makes you crave more sugar. And in the mouth, they have the same effects as natural sugar.

So what to do? There are a few naturally occurring sweeteners that do not raise your blood glucose and are actually non-toxic. They are agave nectar and a plant known as stevia. As for their taste, try it and see.

If you have additional questions about “diet” sugars, contact Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City for more information.

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