At the grocery store this past weekend, my son announced to me” I love candies, I can eat them every day for the rest of my life!”. I am sure you have one of these kids like mine, or maybe you yourself may have a sweet tooth. But how many candies are too many? what could we do to reduce the negative effects of sugar while enjoying upcoming trick-or-treat?
To reduce cavity-causing germs, it is much more important to understand the exposure frequency concept. That means, 5 candies consumed during a short time is in general safer than throughout the day slowly. Our oral cavity has self-defense mechanism that fights cavities each time sugar arrives, but the constant intake of sugar will likely overpower this mechanism, hence, the chance of getting cavities becomes higher.
Here are some tips during the Halloween holidays for reducing risks of cavities:
— No candies at nighttime after trick-or treat, especially right before going to bed (or even worse, going to bed without brushing teeth after eating candies!!)
— Be selective. Pick the ” better” candies, such as dark chocolate, naturally sweetened candies or sweet treats rather than sugar loaded, artificially colored ones
— Limit the frequency (and quantity to a certain degree for other health benefits!). Try to eat a couple of candies at once, brush teeth, chew sugar-free gum or drink a cup of water afterwards.
Of course, we should not forget the other negative effects of sugar on our body in general. Here are some alarming articles from University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) about “ sugar addiction”:
As my son and I walked out of the grocery store, I explained to him” We need some sugar for energy, but there is good sugar and bad sugar. We can enjoy a bit of bad sugar, but eating too much would make us sick”.
What would you tell your kids during Halloween about candies?