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Not So Sweet Valentine Treats

February 6, 2020

For children, Valentine’s Day often consists of a holiday party at daycare or school, followed by their parents providing them with sweet treats. However, it is important to limit the number of sweets you give to your child on Valentine’s Day or any other day. Here is some advice from our pediatric dental specialists about why it is so important to limit sweets on Valentine’s day.

Why You Should Limit Your Sweet Valentine Treats

Sweet treats have a lot of sugar and calories, while not containing a high nutritious content. Eating a lot of these treats can lead to weight gain and potential problems in the future, such as diabetes. They can also make a child feel sluggish or cause them to have problems sleeping. The other primary reason why you want to limit sweet Valentine treats is that the sugar can lead to cavities in a child. This is why may dentists for children advise you to limit your child’s sugar intake during any holiday, but especially ones that are surrounded by candy, like Halloween, and Easter.

Some Not So Sweet Valentine Treats to Consume

As a parent, you want to make holidays fun for your child. For many households, this includes making special treats for the holidays. Many families make Valentine’s Day cookies, cupcakes, cakes, or serve Valentine’s Day candies to help celebrate the day. If you want to serve some treats for the occasion, there are many not so sweet or less sweet treats that you can create for the occasion. Fruit is always a great option. You can make a fun fruit salad featuring all pink, purple, and red treats. Or, you can use a cookie cutter, and cut small hearts into cantaloupe, honeydew, or pineapple. Dipping items in chocolate has less sugar than a solid candy bar, so consider making chocolate dipped strawberries or pretzels. You can then use sprinkles to add color and texture.You can also use colored food drops to regular applesauce, yogurt, or milk, creating a fun pink Valentine’s treat. Lastly, you can make red or pink fruit smoothies using berries to create a healthy Valentine’s day snack.

The Worst Types of Valentine Treats for Your Teeth

There is nothing wrong with indulging in a sweet treat here or there, especially on a holiday. However, not all sweet treats are the same. Items that are hard, sticky, or chewy, such as caramel candy apples, lollipops, or sugary gummy candies are worse for your teeth than an item such as a solid chocolate bar. Hard items can cause stress fractures to teeth, while sticky items can stick to the teeth and can be difficult to remove. This not only increases the risk of cavities, but eating sweets like lollipops can leave sugar on your child’s teeth for a prolonged period of time can wear down their enamel.

What You Can Do After Consuming Valentine Treats

If you and your child have consumed a Valentine treat, you will want to help limit the risk to your teeth. If you are out and about, try drinking a glass of water or chewing on a stick of sugar-free gum, if your child is old enough. This can also increase saliva in the mouth, which helps to fight bacteria. Once you are home, be sure to help your child brush their teeth well and floss, especially after eating sticky or gummy treats, as these can get lodged in hard to reach areas and even along the gumlines.

Limiting your child’s sweets and offering up some not so sweet Valentine treats is only one of the steps that you need to take to help protect your child’s teeth. Visiting a pediatric dentist routinely is essential to your child’s oral and dental health. If you’re in the market for a new pediatric dentist near you, visit Dr. Maggie Davis! Whether your child needs to be seen for a routine six-month dental appointment, or if they are experiencing pain and may have a cavity, we can help. Contact us and book your appointment with us today!

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