Halloween Candy Alternatives

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Giving things other than candy on All Hallow’s Eve is asking for trouble. From the classic house egging to trees covered in toilet paper, no one wants the trick side of the trick-or-treat. If you do find yourself feeling that candy is too unhealthy and you’d rather hand out something better to the children of your neighborhood, here are some alternatives to candy that will help kids keep their smiles bright.

Stickers – Anything from the latest animated movie to something fun and spooky, kids always love stickers.

Glow sticks – Kids go crazy for glow sticks. Plus, They help kids to be more visible as they go house to house, helping them to stay safe at night. They are also cheaper than candy.

Pencils/ Pencil toppers – Okay, so this borders on school supply, but what kid doesn’t love a fun pencil? Maybe it will inspire them to do more homework… sure, why not.

Gum – Isn’t gum candy? Sure, but chewing sugar-free gum can act increase saliva, helping to reduce acids and reduce tooth decay. Just make sure that you’re handing out sugar-free gum and then you can give out “candy” and not have your house egged!

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Healthy Mouth, Healthy Body.

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Did you know there are over 700 species of bacteria present inside the mouth? Scientists even have a fancy name for it – “The Human Oral Microbiome”.

Now before you go freaking out and spraying your mouth with Lysol, you should know, some of these bacteria are good. Like Veillonella, that slows the development of caries. But (and seriously, don’t spray Lysol in your mouth) there are a lot of bad bacteria, like Streptococcus mutans, a significant contributor to tooth decay and Streptococcus gordonii.

Researchers from the Royal College of Surgeons published a study in March showing that Streptococcus gordonii can produce a molecule that helps blood to clot. This molecule can slip into your blood stream and cause blockage of the blood supply to the heart or brain, resulting in a heart attack or stroke. In fact, studies show that having gum disease can quadruple your risk of stroke and spike your risk of a heart attack up to a dozen times higher!

Some bacteria can even lead to cancer. A Swedish study found that poor brushing can increase cancer risks by 80%!

Dr Paul Pharoah, reader in cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, said the results of the Swedish study suggested higher levels of plaque (bacteria) are associated with ‘higher all-cause mortality.’ In other words, the worse your teeth are, the worse your overall health is and the more risk you are to serious illness and even death.

So, what can you do to help prevent bacteria growing? Try some of these tips:

Brush your teeth twice a day for a full two minutes each time.

– Floss your teeth and scrape your tongue daily.

– Wash out your mouth after every meal. An over the counter mouthwash is best but most of us don’t carry around a bottle of Scope everywhere we go. You could use these but water is a good substitute if nothing else is available.

– Cut out the sugar. Sugar promotes bacteria growth. So stay away from high sugar foods and beverages (e.g. candy, soda and fruit juices).  If you are a candy lover like myself, try to find some sugar free alternatives.

– See your dentist twice a year and get your teeth cleaned. “The cleaning done at the dentist is a special ‘deep’ dental cleaning, where all the harmful plaque and tartar is removed professionally.” If you need to find a dentist to help get your smile back in shape, use DentistUSA.com.

Following these tips may not only get you a brighter smile; it might save you from something more deadly!

 

Dental Fun Facts

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I’ve been known to be a bit of a ‘trivia geek’. It’s a term I have been called many times (mostly without the trivia preface). To help expand my trivial knowledge, I have been studying up on some fun dental facts that I’m sure will end up on an episode of Jeopardy one day. So, if you’re looking to win a game show or just want to impress at your local bar’s next trivia night, read on. Hopefully one day, you’ll be answering Final Jeopardy, correctly.

 

The earliest known dentist was Hesi-ren, an Egyptian “doctor of the tooth” who lived around 3000 B.C.

The Romans used a mixture of bones, eggshells, oyster shells and honey to clean their teeth.

The first bristled toothbrush was made in China in 1498.

In the 1800s, blacksmiths and barbers also served as dentists.

The average toothbrush contains about 2500 bristles grouped into about 40 tufts per toothbrush.

There are more bacteria in your mouth than there are people on the Earth.

Cotton Candy was invented by a dentist and was originally called “fairy floss.”

During the middle ages, the customary cure for a toothache was to kiss a donkey.

Roughly 75% of school children worldwide have active dental cavities.

Kids miss 51 million school hours a year due to dental related illnesses.

Sports-related injuries account for approximately 5 million missing teeth per year.

Tooth enamel is the hardest structure in the human body.

Eating green veggies high in minerals, like broccoli, spinach and kale, will help strengthen the enamel on your teeth and help protect against stains.

According to the latest Original Tooth Fairy Poll, parents are leaving an average of $4.13 per tooth under their kids’ pillows.

In 2017, the Tooth Fairy paid out $271 million for lost teeth across the U.S.

The Tooth Fairy visits 84 percent of U.S. households with children.

In Mexico and other Latin countries, the job of the Tooth Fairy is performed by a mouse named, El Ratón Pérez.

A study done by Kelton on behalf of The American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, found that Americans believe a smile is the one feature that will always remain the most attractive no matter how old we get. According to the study, 45% of those surveyed think that a person’s smile can defy the affects of aging while eyes come in a distant second at 34%.

The human tongue is like a fingerprint. No two people have the same tongue print.

A dentist named Alfred P. Southwick invented the Electric Chair.

The farmer in Grant Wood’s painting, “American Gothic” was actually the artist’s dentist.