Guest Blog Post By Dr. Kristine Grazioso
When you’re a pediatric dentist and a mom, conversations this time of year kind of go like this…
Unsuspecting Mom: ‘So what do you do?’
Me: ‘I’m a pediatric dentist!’
UM: ‘Ooohhhhh (pause)…so I guess you just hate this time of year, huh? With Halloween and all of that candy?’
Although this may seem hard to believe, Halloween is actually one of my favorite times of year! It brings back a lot of great memories – Trick-Or-Treating, being with friends, and, of course, all of that candy. You may be surprised to read that, but the reality is that it’s what you do in the days and weeks following Halloween that make a difference, not just one crazy night of candy.
I thought it might be helpful to share with you some recommendations from a mom who happens to be a pediatric dentist. Here are some things to chew on:
- Choosing chocolate treats over sticky, gummy candy is usually your best bet. Chocolate will melt away, while the sticky candies leave a coating on the teeth. This sugary coating tends to be difficult to remove completely, even with good brushing.
- Try and eat treat as a dessert – rather than in between meals. The bacteria that causes cavities can only use so much sugar at one time (even bacteria get full ). I like to recommend that kids eat their candy at one sitting rather than eating small amounts over the course of time.
- Consider finding a ‘Candy Give-Back Program’. This has become a great alternative for families – it works like this. Let your kids go out Trick-Or-Treating and collect all of the candy they can. Enjoy the candy for a couple of days and then bring the remaining candy in for donation! Our practice (South Shore Children’s Dentistry located in Cohasset) has partnered with Operation Shoebox – we are collecting your ‘extra’ Halloween candy on 11/1 – 11/3 in our office. We are then donating all of this candy to our troops! Care packages are assembled through Operation Shoebox and shipped overseas for our troops to enjoy as a little ‘thank you’ and reminder of home. Please feel free to come by and see us! It’s our fifth year running this event and the turnout is always heartwarming and humbling.
- Come and visit your dentist! We recommend making sure your children visit their dentist at least every 6 months. In fact, the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), and the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP) now recommend that your child be seen by his/her first visit to the dentist no later than their first birthday.
I hope these little tips help! I believe that balance is key to all that we do – and Halloween fun is no exception. Wishing you and your little ghosts and goblins a safe and healthy Halloween!
Dr. Kristine Grazioso (a.k.a. Dr. G)
South Shore Children’s Dentistry works hard to raise public awareness of the benefits of healthy eating and good oral hygiene. With a conservative treatment philosophy, the practice offers affordable and convenient dental care to families on the South Shore (including Cohasset, Hingham, Scituate, Norwell, Marshfield and more) since 1999. The dentists at South Shore Children’s Dentistry (who are all Moms too..) are Dr. Anne Kuczma (a Norwell resident), Dr. Kristine Grazioso, and Dr. Mina Schafft. For more information visit the South Shore Children’s Dentistry’s website.