How to Have a Healthier Halloween

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Halloween is a long-standing tradition in the United States.  Per the National Retail Federation, consumers are expected to spend $9.1 Billion this year for Halloween, up from $8.4 billion in 2016. Over $2.5 Billion will be spent on candy.

Each year more than 41 million kids go trick-or-treating.  Per industry and retail reports, an average kid that goes trick-or-treating can consume around 3 cups of sugar (or 7,000 calories of candy) on Halloween.  That’s 675 grams of sugar!  This equates to eating almost 169 cubes of sugar.

All of this would be just fine under the best of circumstances, but unfortunately our country is in the worst of circumstances!  Why is this?  We are experiencing an epidemic of tooth decay in this country and its affecting our kids the most.  Tooth decay is the number one chronic health problem of children.  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says 42% of children ages 2 to 11 have had cavities in baby teeth.  21% of those ages 6 to 11 have had cavities in permanent teeth.  Tooth decay is 5 times more common than asthma, 4 times more common than early childhood obesity and 20 times more common than diabetes.  This may not like a big deal to some, so let me explain further.  Dental decay is the destruction of your tooth by bacteria which feeds on sugary foods that we eat.  The bacteria use the sugar for energy and produce acids that destroys your tooth.  Children need their teeth to eat properly, to talk, smile, and feel good about themselves.  Children with cavities may have difficulty eating, smiling and have problems paying attention and learning in school.

Has your child brought home any bad grades lately?  In a study conducted by The American Journal of Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics in 2013, they found that teeth were identified as the number one problem by students surveyed.  What about their teeth?  Kids were bullied because of the space between their teeth, missing teeth, and the shape or color of their teeth.

This year, let’s provide our children with some healthier alternatives to fight against this epidemic. Try some of the following ideas:

  • Donate Halloween Candy.
    Organizations like Operation Gratitude-candy for US Soldiers collect candy to be sent to US Soliders overseas.

Or, you can participate in a Halloween candy-buy-back program, like the one we’re hosting here at The Smile Company! From November 1st – 6th, you can bring your trick or treat candy to our Maryland Heights office and you can earn $1.00 for every pound of candy you bring! You will also receive 1 raffle ticket to win a Xbox One S.

Details are below, or follow us on Facebook for daily updates on our giveaways, including our Ultimate Staycation for two!

  • Trade your child’s candy for a toy. 
  • Provide your child with healthier food choices with less sugar. 
  • Schedule your child’s next dental visit for dental sealants.
    • Per the ADA, dental sealants can reduce the risk of cavities by 81% over two years and keep fighting cavities for up to nine years

Enjoy your Halloween but this year let’s make it a healthier one!

Sources:

Here’s the Dangerous Amount of Sugar Kids will Consume on Halloween: http://fortune.com/2017/10/26/holloween-candy-sugar-consumption/

The Scary Truth About Halloween: http://www.livestrong.com/blog/scary-truth=about-halloween-infographic/

Tooth Decay Affects Academics and Self-Confidence:  https://www.ameritasinsight.com/wellness/dental/tooth-decay-affects-academics-self-confidences

New Study Links Dental Problems in Children to Bullying:  http://orthodonticproductsonline.com/2014/01/new-study-links-dental-problems-in-children-to-bullying/

Who has cavities? Nearly all Americans, study finds:  https://www.today.com/health/most-us-have-tooth-decay-study-finds-t20781

More than half of US kids don’t get dental sealants, and the CDC wants schools to change that:  http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-cavities-kids-sealants-20161018-snap-story.html