The Spooky Truth About Sugar

MONSTERS AND GHOSTS AND SUGAR, OH MY! Wait… sugar? That’s right. The scariest thing you’ll encounter this Halloween may just be sweets.

Here are some hair-raising statistics about Halloween candy consumption:

  • Americans purchase around 600 million pounds–or 2 billion dollars worth–of candy each year for Halloween.
  • Kids consume up to 7,000 calories on Halloween and the average trick-or-treater intakes about three cups of sugar.
  • The average child would need to trick-or-treat for over 100 miles to burn off what they eat during Halloween.

These statistics may be a bit shocking but what is perhaps even more frightening is how much sugar the average American consumes on a daily basis, not just around October 31st.

According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, sugar makes up 16 percent of the average american child’s daily caloric intake. The American Dental Association recommends that added sugar should make up no more than 10 percent of total energy intake and ideally less than five percent.

More Sugar, More Cavities

It’s no secret that sugar in excess can be harmful to your health. High sugar consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes and poor heart health. We also know it can be especially damaging to teeth and gums.

When we eat foods that contain sugar, we are not the only ones enjoying the meal–so are the harmful bacteria in our mouths. As a result, these bacteria produce acids that eat away at our teeth and cause tooth decay, or in other words, cavities.

Watch Out For Added Sugars And Try To Cut Back

Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk, and fresh fruit and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for are added sugars.

Here’s how we recommend you lower your daily sugar intake:

Read food labels.

Many times we don’t realize just how much sugar we are consuming. You may think you’re making a healthy choice for your child with dried or canned fruit, granola bars, or even yogurt. But many of these food items have a surprisingly high amount of sugar.

Think about your drink.

Did you know that one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake for a child? Even seemingly healthy beverages such as fruit juices contain far too much sugar. The best options for beverages are water and milk.

Cook at home.

By cooking at home you can know exactly what is going into your child’s meals and snacks. You’d be surprised by how much hidden sugar there is in fast food!

Trick Or Treat?

Don’t let Halloween trick you into thinking it’s the only time of year you need to think about your treats! The amount of sugar we consume in October is scary, but our daily sugar intake needs our attention too. Let this Halloween mark the start of your family’s journey to cut back on sugar!

Happy Halloween!

Top image by Flickr user Micah Sittig used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Snacking Tips To Keep Your Child’s Smile Healthy

 

GOOD NUTRITION IS ESSENTIAL for a child’s healthy growth and development. It’s also important for their dental health! A good diet can help your child build strong, healthy teeth, while poor eating habits puts your child at a higher risk of tooth decay.

You may understand how important nutritious meals are, but one thing some parents struggle with is snack time. Here are our best tips on how to make sure your child’s snack time is tooth-friendly!

Not All Snacks Are Created Equal

Stay away from starchy, sticky or sugary foods during snack time, like dried fruit, crackers, chips and cookies. These types of snacks can stick to the teeth for long periods of time, potentially causing cavities. For snack time it’s best to opt for fruits, vegetables, nuts, yogurt and cheese.

If You Indulge, Do It During Mealtime

Don’t worry, we don’t expect you or your child to never eat sweets or starches. There is a better time to eat them than at snack time, however, and that is during meals! That’s because it’s not just important what you eat, but when you eat. At mealtime, there is an increased amount of saliva in the mouth that can help wash away those starches or sugary treats, counteract acid-producing bacteria and remineralize teeth.

Watch Out For Added Sugars

Almost all foods have some type of sugar in them. Naturally occurring sugars–like those found in milk and vegetables–are less worrisome, since these choices are healthy overall. What you want to keep an eye out for when choosing snacks are added sugars.

According to the American Dental Association, added sugar consumption should be limited to less than 10 percent of total energy intake, ideally less than five percent. To put things in perspective, one can of soda is equivalent to three times the daily recommended sugar intake of a child!

Choose Beverages Wisely

On that note, we’d like to advise parents to choose their children’s beverages wisely. Soda and juice may be your child’s preferred drinks, but milk and water are much healthier choices. Good sources of calcium, like milk, aid in building strong teeth and bones and water helps to wash away food particles that may be clinging to teeth, thus protecting against decay.

Sip All Day, Get Decay

Whether your child is drinking milk, juice or soda, don’t let them sip it throughout the day. Constant consumption of either food or drink is harmful for teeth, because not only are you feeding yourself, you’re also feeding the cavity-causing bacteria that reside in your mouth. Limit snacking to once or twice a day and have your child sip on water. If they drink anything that contains sugar, have them drink it during mealtimes or all at once.

Your Family’s Health Is Our Priority

If you have any tips or healthy snack ideas that your kids love, leave it in the comments below! At our practice, we care about the health of your whole family. Proper nutrition, especially at snack time, will ensure healthy smiles for you and your children for a lifetime!

Thank you for being part of our practice family!

Top image by Flickr user Larry Grubbs used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Take A Look Inside Our Team Huddle!

ANY GOOD EXPERIENCE is indebted to the dedication of a good team. We think this is especially true of creating a positive experience for you, our valued patients!

Our team has fun planning how to provide you with the most enjoyable experience possible during your visit! Today, we’d like to share a few things we do during our team meetings to create a fun experience for you in our office and grow closer as a team.

Take A Look Into Our Team Huddle!

At the start of every daily “huddle” we review the day before – what we did great and what was left incomplete so we can do even better today than the day before.

Next, we look to the future to assure we are prepared for what will happen in two weeks, one week, and tomorrow.

Our final step is to focus on today so each team member knows each patient and we can do our best to meet their needs.

We understand a little teamwork goes a long way!

We’re Lucky To Have Such Great Patients

Our team loves seeing your bright smile each time you visit our office, and we want to ensure we can help you keep smiling the rest of your day! We plan for each and every one of our patients and try our best to provide you with the best experience possible. If you have any suggestions about how we can make your visit more fun or if you have any fun activities we can try in our next team huddle, let us know in the comments!

Thank you for being our valued patients and friends!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

How To Help Prepare Your Child For The Dentist

 

THERE’S NOTHING BETTER than seeing a child’s smile light up a room. While parents understand the importance of keeping that smile healthy by regularly visiting the dentist, some children are a bit apprehensive about making that visit.

There Are Many Potential Causes For A Child’s Dental Anxiety

There may be several reasons why your little one isn’t too excited about visiting the dentist. It could be fear of the unknown, or maybe a friend or a sibling has told them a scary story about what happens during a dental visit. A parent’s own apprehension about visiting the dentist can even influence their child’s opinion about their upcoming dental exam.

Whatever the case may be, we want to help you prepare your child for his or her upcoming visit and help relieve some of that stress!

Try These Tips To Help Prepare For Their Next Visit!

Start early. The AAPD recommends children see the dentist by their first birthday or whenever teeth appear. Not only is this important to ensure their teeth and gums are healthy, it will help them grow used to seeing the dentist on a regular basis.

Explain what will happen during their visit. Fear of the unknown can be a significant contributor to stress leading up to a child’s dental visit. When you explain the basics of what will happen during their visit, they’ll know what to expect when they arrive at the dentist’s office.

Stress Can Affect Your Child’s Oral Health

Not only will decreased stress make their appointment more enjoyable, but lower overall stress will help their oral health too!

Studies have shown that children who experience greater levels of stress than their peers tend to develop a greater number of dental cariesHigh levels of stress increase the amount of salivary cortisols and cavity-forming bacteria in the mouth, making it more difficult for them to ward off cavities.

Stress can come from any number of sources in a child’s life. It may be the result of a big move or it could be caused by pressures at school such as difficult classwork or trouble with friends. Whatever the source, if you notice your child seems stressed, there are plenty of ways to help such as:

  • Spend quality time with your child daily
  • Ensure they get enough sleep and eat a healthy diet
  • Talk with your child about what may be causing their stress
  • Schedule wellness visits with the doctor and follow-up visits to the dentist and let them know what they can expect at these visits

We Can Help Your Child Have An Enjoyable Visit

As your child continues to grow, we want to ensure they develop a happy, healthy smile. We strive to help them feel comfortable during their visit so they can develop good oral health habits for a lifetime. If you have any questions about how you can prepare your child for their next appointment, let us know! We’d love to help you prepare them for the most enjoyable visit possible.

Thank you for being a part of our practice family.

Top image by Flickr user Ashley Campbell used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.