Boston Dentist Says Halloween Candy is OK for Kids to Eat

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"Halloween candy causes cavities" is a myth.

"Candy causes cavities" is one of those myths that keeps dentists and the dental industry in the dark ages, says Boston cosmetic dentist Helaine Smith (http://www.helainesmithdmd.com). According to Dr. Smith, it's ok for kids to eat their Halloween candy.

"I'm a dentist and I enjoy candy," says Dr. Smith, "and I don't have a mouthful of cavities. The point is moderation. Most parents don't let their children gobble down their Halloween candy in one sitting or to eat it all day long. Candy eaten once or twice a day over a period of a few days will not cause harm, so I say, let kids enjoy it and stop stressing over it."

According to Dr. Smith, lactic acid is produced when chewing food. This acid decreases the pH of the mouth, creating an acidic environment, which can leave the teeth vulnerable to cavities. However, studies have shown that as long as children and adults practice good oral hygiene, which includes brushing twice a day, eating candy isn't a problem.

What is a problem, says Dr. Smith, is nursing a sugary soft drink or sucking on hard candy all day. "Coating the teeth in sugar for extended periods of time will cause cavities," says Dr. Smith. "But letting your child eat candy as a special treat will not do any harm -- except to their waistlines if they over-indulge."

Research has shown that some people are highly susceptible to cavities -- or caries, as they are known by dental professionals -- and must be diligent in maintaining their oral health. But, thanks to fluoride in our water, fluoride treatments by dentists, and the fact that kids have healthier diets -- and thus stronger teeth -- children are not as susceptible to cavities as they were 30 or 40 years ago.

About Dr. Helaine Smith
Dr. Smith, a Boston, Massachusetts cosmetic dentist, has combined a dedication to patient care, volunteerism, and business acumen since beginning her dentistry career in 1991. She is a Fellow in the Academy of General Dentistry and a Las Vegas Institute graduate, and she recently completed an executive MBA program at Suffolk University.

In May 2006, Dr. Smith's practice was named first runner-up in the prestigious Cosmetic Practice of the Year Award competition, sponsored by Levin Group, Ascend Media, and Philips Oral Healthcare. For more information about her practice visit: http://www.helainesmithdmd.com.

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