Halloween candyHalloween is right around the corner, which means soon you and your little ones may be hitting the streets trick or treating, or engaging in other socially-distant holiday fun. While we love Halloween as much as anyone, being dental professionals means we also know that too much candy could mean toothaches and tooth decay! To help protect little smiles in our community, and ensure everyone gets to enjoy their Halloween fun, we’re offering our annual Halloween Candy Buy Back Program! Your Richardson, TX, dentist will buy your child’s treats, and donate it to Operation Gratitude, an amazing program that helps support our troops overseas.

Our Annual Buy-Back Program

Kids are always proud of their epic treat hauls following Halloween, so getting them to part with it can be difficult. To make the process easier, we offer a Candy Buy Back program. Basically, you bring your child’s sweets into our Dallas or Richardson offices and we will pay one dollar per pound for the treats. We then donate the sweets we collect to Operation Gratitude, who sends it as part of a care package for troops overseas.

You can bring your child’s treats to our Dallas office (1050 North Westmoreland Road, Suite 432B) on Thursday, November 5th anytime between noon and 7pm. We’re also accepting candy for the program at our Richardson office (722 West Spring Valley Road) on Wednesday, November 4th from noon until 7pm. Not only do your little ones earn a few dollars, they’re also automatically entered into a raffle to win an electric Kids Sonicare Toothbrush (a $70 value). We will require you to wear a mask and give us a call when you arrive. We will invite you once we’re sure the waiting room is empty enough to ensure proper social distancing. We have plenty of hand sanitizer on hand, and we will take your temperature too. Our team members will be wearing PPE as well, including masks, face shields, gloves, and gowns. We hope to see you then!

The Link Between Candy and Tooth Decay

Why should you encourage your children not to binge too heavily on their treats? Well, most of our favorite sweets contain sugar, which could be left behind on or between the teeth. When bacteria break down these particles, this leads to higher levels of oral acidity, and also coats the surfaces of the teeth in plaque buildup. This buildup not only causes bad breath and stained teeth, but can also weaken and erode the outer enamel, exposing sensitive inner tissues to bacteria and allowing tooth decay to form! You and your children could eventually experience tooth sensitivity and toothaches as the decay grows in severity, and the risk of infection could increase as well! For that reason, we suggest limiting how much you eat per day, and cleansing the mouth by following up your sweets with a glass of water.

Fun Smile-Safe Alternatives

Try to cut back on items that contain caramel, taffy, or gummy ingredients, as these could be more likely to remain trapped on or between the teeth. For these reasons, dried fruits are also much less healthy for your smile than you would assume! Instead, try to stick to milk chocolate, which tastes delicious and is much easier to remove when brushing and flossing. If you’re going to be handing out sweets this year, instead consider offering stickers, temporary tattoos, sealed packages of nuts or trail mix, or spooky party favors. You can help protect smiles throughout your neighborhood! Also, be sure you wear a mask when out and about, and make sure you and your family maintain proper social distance from other groups of people.

Protect Your Smile at Home

Let’s talk about what you and your kids should do to keep smiles healthy at home, even when inundated with candy! Make sure everyone is brushing their teeth in the morning and before bed for two minutes. For young children, use a rice sized blot of fluoride toothpaste. Older kids, teens, and adults should use a pea-sized amount. You may need to help or monitor your children to ensure proper cleaning. Everyone also needs to floss before bed, moving the tape up and down each side of every tooth, moving below the gum line as well. Flossing removes what a toothbrush alone cannot!

See Us for a Checkup and Cleaning!

Soon, the holiday season will be here and for many, schedules will become a lot more hectic. For that reason, October and early November are a perfect time to schedule a visit. You have a chance to take advantage of your dental insurance benefits before they run out, and make sure everyone in your family ends the year with their healthiest possible smile. With a checkup, we watch for signs of trouble and offer treatment to address concerns before they become severe. We also clean the teeth, a process that completely removes plaque and tartar from the teeth, lowering the risk of issues like cavities and even gum disease. For children, we also have unique preventive treatments to avoid cavities, such as fluoride treatments that strengthen outer enamel, or dental sealants to keep food from becoming stuck between the teeth. Should we find cavities in the earliest stages, we may use Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF) to halt the decay and prevent the need for a filling. If you have any questions about keeping smiles safe this Halloween, or if you would like to learn more about our Buy Back program, then contact our team today. We want to make sure everyone ensures a safe and happy Halloween!

Schedule a Visit With Your Richardson, TX, Dentist

A number of factors could lead to tooth decay. But by practicing good oral hygiene at home, seeing us for routine visits, and limiting how many sweets you consume each day, you can help keep your smile safe and strong. For more information on protecting your family’s smile, then please schedule a consultation by calling the Viva Dental Family Dentistry office nearest you at (214) 337-7800 (Dallas) or (972) 437-6000 (Richardson). We want to make sure you enjoy your holiday fun without putting your smile at risk!