Livingston Dental October 2018

Best in Show or Halloween Hazard?

Costume Safety Tips for Kids

and can be put out quickly, it can still catch fire and cause serious injuries. Remind your child to use caution around open flames and avoid costumes with flimsy, hanging components, like flowing sleeves, long skirts, and capes. TEST MAKEUP FIRST. Halloween is a great time to have fun with face paint, and makeup is a good alternative to masks, which can obscure a child’s vision. However, a lot of costume makeup isn’t approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Before letting your child cover their face in makeup from the Halloween store, test their skin for allergic reactions by putting just a little bit on the back of their hand first. PRACTICE PROP SAFETY. What’s a Jedi Knight without her lightsaber or a wizard without his magic wand? The right accessories can really bring a costume together, but it’s important that props — especially weapon props, like swords, knives, or guns — are not mistaken for the real thing. Choose props that are obviously fake, with round edges made from soft, flexible material. And if your child wants to wear their Halloween costume to school or some other event, check the rules on props beforehand to avoid any trouble.

For many kids, picking out a costume is the best part of Halloween. Will they be a spooky witch, a wildcat, or their favorite superhero? There are so many options! But in all the fun, it can be easy for parents to overlook certain risks that Halloween costumes can pose. Here are important safety tips to remember when choosing the best Halloween costume. LOOK FOR FIRE- RESISTANT COSTUMES. Candles inside jack-o’-lanterns and other open flames are

everywhere on Halloween night, so make sure your child’s costume isn’t a fire hazard. Most store-bought costumes are made from fire-resistant materials, but you should still check the labels on all costumes,

wigs, and accessories. The same goes when you’re buying fabric for homemade costumes. And remember, fire-resistant is not the same as fireproof. While fire-resistant material takes longer to burn Halloween is a night for ghosts and goblins to come out to play, and with these tips, your kids can safely dress up and join in the fun. The Sugary Substance Dentists Actually Recommend

Xylitol Starves the Bad Bacteria in Your Mouth

weight gain, risk of heart disease and cancer, and several other serious health-related issues.

If you’ve ever seen the 1971 classic “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” then you are familiar with the fictional sugar- filled labyrinth from which some of the most scrumdiddlyumptious sweets are delivered to the world’s candy stores. To children, the chocolate river, Everlasting Gobstoppers, and Fizzy Lifting Drinks are the mouthwatering epitome of fun, but adults might look at all that sugar and run away screaming. According to the American Diabetes Association, added sugar may be the unhealthiest aspect of the modern diet. Fortunately, the natural sweetener xylitol provides a healthier alternative. WHAT IS XYLITOL? Xylitol is a white, crystallized sugar alcohol. It looks and tastes like sugar, but it has fewer calories and only has a negligible effect on blood sugar levels. You can find small amounts of it in many fruits and vegetables, which is why many define it as “natural.” You can also find xylitol in birch trees, but more often than not, scientists make it in a lab using the plant fiber xylan. Xylitol is considered a healthier choice than fructose, especially high fructose corn syrup, which spikes blood sugar and insulin levels. This spike can lead to insulin resistance,

WHY DO DENTISTS RECOMMEND IT? Many dentists recommend using xylitol-sweetened chewing gum — no, not the kind that turned Violet into a giant blueberry. Studies indicate that xylitol can prevent tooth decay. One of the leading risk factors for tooth decay is a type of oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. Having traces of this bacteria on your teeth is normal, but when there is an abundance, your immune system starts attacking it. These attacks often lead to inflammatory gum diseases that can cause gingivitis. To stay alive, these bacteria feed on sugar from the food you eat, but oddly, they can’t process xylitol. If you replace your sugar intake with xylitol, the bacteria will still eat it, but their energy pathways will become clogged and they will starve. It is not often that a dentist recommends that their patients chew on sweets, but consuming this sugar can do wonders for your teeth and gums.

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