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Sunday, May 1, 2016

'Oh no, not a toothbrush for Halloween'

Monday, October 31, 2005

Ivy Herron photo

Ready for trick-or-treaters at his office located at 1204 E. National Ave., Dr. Gary Staadt recommends parents limit the amount of sweets children eat this Halloween while making sure that children practice good dental hygiene.

The worst nightmare for some candy-seeking trick-or-treaters could be to knock on a door and find a dentist with a toothbrush on the other side.

"Children who eat a lot of candy on Halloween, as I look at it, is a one-time exposure during the year, and I don't begrudge them their candy," Dr. Gary Staadt told The Brazil Times. "When it comes right down to it, eating a lot of candy on Halloween is not going to cause cavities or a lot of tooth decay. It is what happens the rest of the year that counts."

He urges parents to limit the amount of items high in sugar, like sodas, energy drinks, fruit juices and hard or sticky candy available to their children throughout the year.

"Nutritionally speaking, it's the best way to go for the overall health of a child," he said. "I understand that children love candy, I do to, but parents have got to be ever vigilant because children do not police themselves very well."

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends children with braces take extra care with their candy choices during Halloween. They urge these children to stick to candy that will easily melt away when ate, like chocolate and peanut-butter cups, and avoid jaw breakers, caramels and jelly beans.

"Children with pre-existing conditions such as braces, fillings or untreated cavities really need to stay away from chewy, gummy or hard candy that can cause damage to their dental work, or pain." Staadt said.

When asked about Halloween at the Staadt family home, he laughed.

"I confess, if someone comes to my house they'll get candy," he said, laughing at the idea he might hand out toothbrushes. "I just can't deny children the opportunity to go out and have fun, but, as a parent, you've got to be realistic about Halloween."


Local dentist for adults and children, Dr. Gary Staadt offers the following dental tips for parents to keep in mind this Halloween:

- Make sure children brush and floss their teeth after eating candy, and always upon waking and before bedtime.

- Take this opportunity to inspect the entire family's toothbrushes and replace any that are worn and frayed with a soft bristle brush.

Halloween Facts

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, per capita Americans ate 25 pounds of candy last year. The bureau contributed a large portion of that amount to the time period around Halloween.

In 2003, the Chicago Dental Society concluded that the average trick-or-treater collects 5,435 calories in their candy bags during Halloween, which is comparable to eating three quarts of chocolate ice cream, two tubes of cookie dough or 2 1/2 gallons of soda.

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