Halloween ushers in the beginning of the candy buying season here in America. Last Halloween consumers were estimated to buy more then $1.9 billion in candy and it is among the four largest candy buying seasons of the year including; Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter. It’s also the same month as National Dental Hygiene Month and in celebration of maintaining healthy smiles; your dentist is buying back Halloween candy.
Every October Dr. Dassani joins dental professionals across the country to promote the importance of dental hygiene and the connection between a healthy, balanced diet and good oral health. “There are several preventative measures that can be taken to ensure this Halloween season can minimize the risk of tooth decay or damage,” explains Dr. Dassani. While the candy alone is not necessarily harmful to teeth, the sugar consumption, types of treats and dental hygiene routine can protect your sweet tooth.
Frequently eating chocolates, candy, and other sweets can create an ideal environment for decay causing bacteria and lead to toothaches, sensitivity, and cavities. Plaque is a sticky substance that is made of bacteria that thrive on sugars and carbohydrates that are left in the mouth and produce harmful acid that attack your teeth. “This attack by bacterial acid, lasting 20 minutes or more, can lead to a loss of tooth mineral and, eventually, to cavities,” according to the American Dental Association. Candy that is sticky or hard tend to remain in the mouth for a longer period of time and can be more harmful then softer candy such as chocolate which washes away easier with saliva. Choosing treats that are sugar free or non-candy treats such as stickers and toys can help reduce the amount of harmful bacteria. Also certain cheeses and the calcium from dairy can help to increase salivary production and help to neutralize acids and wash away any remaining sugars.
Sticky and hard candy can actually cause damage to dental work, braces and retainers. Hard candy sugars are harmful due to the length of time they remain in the mouth and biting into a hard candy can chip, break or fracture teeth. Softer candy in moderation such as chocolates and sugar free gum can be a safer alternative.
Thanks to the advancements in dentistry, protecting your teeth from decay-causing bacteria and cavities has become much easier. And choosing treats that are sugar free or non-candy treats such as stickers and toys can help reduce the amount of harmful decay causing bacteria. Tooth decay is the most chronic disease effecting children and is a disease that is not treated with immunizations or by physicians. Dr. Dassani recommends maintaining proper brushing and flossing home care and routine dental check ups. Today’s technology and dental advancements have taken even routine dental visits into the 21st century. In addition to traditional fluoride rinses, fluoride varnishes are being used to prevent tooth decay. The varnishes, which are ‘painted’ on teeth, act as a protective barrier. Technology like the Diagnodent laser fluorescents can help detect the early stages of decay.
To save his patients and community from a frightful dental experience this Halloween Dr. Dassani is offering a candy buy back program to help minimize sugary consumption. Bring in your Halloween treats and receive $1 for every pound of candy and a toothbrush. The candy along with toothbrushes and floss will be donated to the men and women serving overseas. Help us promote good dental hygiene and bring a sweet smile to our brave men & women serving our country.
For more information about National Dental Hygiene Month or to support the candy buy back program please contact, Christina at 281-488-4617.
About Meghna Dassani, DMD
Dr. Meghna Dassani received her initial dental training from the University of Mumbai, India, where she graduated in 1996 as Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS). After working as an associate for one year, she established her own practice in Mumbai, India. She successfully operated this practice for six years prior to moving to the US. When Dr. Meghna Dassani is not in the office she is at home being a mommy to her 2 beautiful girls and enjoying time relaxing with her husband. Since opening her own practice in 2011 she doesn’t have a lot of free time but when the time allows she enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, cooking, visiting with friends and family and of course SHOPPING with a Starbucks in her hand!