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Candy: A childhood Favorite that should be Selected Carefully

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Statistics related to the Thai dental health show that up to 70% of both adults and children suffer from tooth decay as a result of their diet, with snacks partly to blame. Candy is particularly dangerous in this regard as not only does it cause tooth decay, but it can also result in obesity and vitamin deficiencies.
  • Pay close attention to the ingredients and nutritional advice when selecting candies for your child. Any products containing more than 12 grams of sugar is inadvisable due to the danger they may pose to health.
  • When selecting snacks for your child, be careful that they are not overly sweet or salty, and are instead high in fiber and free from trans fats being preferable, such as low-sugar whole wheat bread products and fresh or dried fruits.

 

Candy: A childhood Favorite that should be Selected Carefully

Sweets and children go together like birds of a feather, especially when it comes to candies, which can be both esthetically appealing and tasty enough to satisfy their sweet-tooth desires. Such qualities mean adults often buy candy-based gifts for their children, whether it’s because they want to see them happy, to show them love, or as a form of behavior management to stop the child from complaining and acting up. However, giving children these colorful sweet treats could actually be placing them at risk of obesity, tooth decay and many other health disorders that you may have been previously unaware of.

Be careful when choosing which candy to buy.

It is almost impossible to separate children from this treat, so pay attention to the following details when choosing which candy to buy:

  • Read the label

Study the nutritional advice and ingredients before buying candies, comparing sugar levels of various products and choosing one which contains less than 12 grams. Additionally, products with the most natural ingredients are preferable, for instance, naturally occurring food colorings or those which utilize herbs to increase sweetness.

  • Natural candy

Choose candy made from natural ingredients, such as coconut sugar, milk, bananas or fruits instead of candies made from artificially produced food stuffs.

  • Avoid hard candies

There are a variety of hard candies or lollipops that people enjoy in between meals, often sucking on them multiple times a day. Such habits can be extremely damaging to the teeth due to the frequency of exposure to the high sugar levels that leads the microbes found in saliva to produce acids, which results in increased levels of tooth decay.

  • Avoid sticky candies

Overly sticky or chewy candies can get stuck in the mouth especially the small gaps in our teeth, which can be difficult to reach when brushing, meaning an increased risk of dental issues.

  • Limit the amount

Although you may already be selecting low-sugar candies or those made from natural ingredients, they are still usually sweet. Therefore, candies of any type should be consumed in limitations, for example, eating only one or two pieces a day, consuming them only on special occasions or offering them as a reward for outstanding achievement.

  • Eating at the right time

Candies should not be eaten before meals as it could lead to the child feeling full. Candies should also not be eaten when playing or sitting in the car as children are prone to falls or jolts at these times, which could lead to an extremely dangerous choking situation.

  • Brushing teeth

Children should be taught to brush their teeth every time they finish eating candies or sweets as this will reduce the amount of sugar accumulating in between their teeth that may otherwise result in tooth decay.

Candies and the health risks they can pose to children

  • Tooth decay

Statistics from surveys carried out about Thais’ oral health shows that up to 70% of both children and adults suffer from tooth decay, which is a major cause of tooth loss. Moreover, tooth decay is already on the rise due to changing dietary habits, especially those associated with increased consumption of snacks, which is being sold in greater quantities than ever. Candies pose a distinct risk due to the high sugar content that leads to the growth in microbes which transform into chemicals that are harmful to teeth once they have processed the sugar found in candies and other sweet products.

  • Obesity

In addition to increasing the risk of tooth decay, frequent over consumption of sugar can also result in childhood obesity, especially in those children who are not as active as some of their peers.

  • Malnutrition

Studies carried out by the medical industry have found that over consumption of sugar, particularly before meals, causes blood glucose levels to rise temporarily, resulting in the child feeling full and not eating properly thereafter. Tooth decay can also play its part in this regard as decreased tooth function ultimately makes it harder for the child to chew their food properly.

Reducing your child’s candy intake can be accomplished in the following ways

  • Do not keep a pack or box of candies at home.
  • Buy snacks that can be beneficial to health by carefully selecting those that are low in sugar and salt, as well as those high in fiber, free from trans fats, and full of natural ingredients, such as sugar-free whole wheat crackers.
  • Keep dried or fresh fruits at home for snacking on.

Parents and guardians who take care when selecting snacks will help their children get the proper nutrients to ensure healthy development, free from the problems associated with tooth decay.


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