We’re one week away from Halloween and most children’s dreams, to get obscene amounts of candy, can be a parent’s nightmare. We at Shine love the holiday and the creativity it brings out in children – one of my 3 year-old students is set on being an orange dinosaur, another, not even 3, a musketeer. We encourage families to dress-up together, go trick-or-treating, and allow children to eat a lot of candy. But how do we deal with the sugar-mania that follows such a frenzy? What do we do with the leftover candy? Halloween can actually be a great time to teach children about good oral health habits. In this week’s article, Dr. Shirley Molina, a pediatric dentist at Dental Associates for Kids Only, gives some advice on how how to handle the post-Halloween candy crash and what to do with the pounds of leftover candy. We’re big fans of buy-back programs. Whatever you do, make sure to have fun and let your children really get in the spirit, candy and all!
Continue to shine your Halloween light –
Aaron Goldschmidt, founder & director
With Halloween right around the corner, parents may start to wonder what the dentist thinks of the holiday. As a pediatric dentist, I love children and their happiness is paramount. I believe children should dress up as their favorite characters and walk their neighborhood with friends and family. Children should happily fill their bags with candy as they declare “Trick or Treat!”
Once back at home, their parents should check all their candy to make sure it’s safe to eat. After getting the green light, I recommend the kids eat as much candy as they like, of all varieties, up until their bellies ache if they wish. After all, Halloween is the one day when kids get to be kids – dressed up, running around and eating candy to their hearts’ desire.
What really matters is what you do with all the leftover Halloween candy the next day. It is not a good idea to give your children a piece of candy every day until the bag empties (that could take months). I suggest parents handpick some chocolate goodies to dole out as special treats or desserts from time to time. I also suggest you physically get rid of the bag (or bags of candy) by bringing them to work or donating them to a local charity. Our local Orthodontists have a “Buy Back” program where children bring their leftover candy and get $1 for every pound of candy they bring in. It is an all around win-win situation, children enjoy their holiday and we know (or hope) the goodies are out of their reach.
We wish you all a safe and Happy Halloween!
By Shirley Molina, DMD, Pediatric Dentist, Dental Associates for Kids Only
Dr. Shirley Molina attended SUNY Stony Brook where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Hispanic Language and Literature in 1998. Dr. Molina pursued her dental studies at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine and graduated in 2002. Dr. Molina continued her studies at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), completing a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry in 2004. During her second year at UMDNJ she served as chief resident and taught the undergraduate dental students in the pediatric dental clinic. Dr. Molina has worked in private practice in Plainview, Rockville Centre, and Roslyn since completing her residency and has been with DAFKO since 2005.