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Frequency of candy consumption affects dental health
Updated: 10/8/2008 2:00:25 PM
 

Frequency of candy consumption affects dental health With Halloween around the corner, many dental health professionals have been giving advice to parents concerned about their child's intake of sweet treats.

Now, Temple University pediatric dentist Mark Helpin suggests that families should concentrate on limiting the frequency that kids snack on candy, rather than banning candy altogether.

He points out that when people eat carbohydrates such as sugary sweets, the pH balance of their mouth becomes acidic, which increases the chances of getting a cavity. It may take 30 to 60 minutes for the mouth to return to a normal level of acidity.

"The longer teeth are in an acid environment, the greater the risk they will become decayed," Helpin explains.

Encouraging kids to enjoy candy directly after a meal and follow proper dental care procedures - such as brushing - after they are finished can also protect dental health and allow children to enjoy the season in moderation, he says.

"It's not realistic to think you can tell your child [they] can't have candy, cookies, cakes or other treats," Helpin advises.

His advice comes after the California Dental Hygienists Association warned parents that sour candy contains acids that can damage dental health.
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