Food

The ghoulish aftermath of Halloween

Save your kids' teeth, give away the candy

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - If only we had the self-control to enjoy candy on Halloween then get rid of the leftovers, our bodies would be a lot happier with us. But for many, especially kids, they keep eating that candy until its gone and sometimes in a matter of days.

After suffering harsh stomach pains, and suddenly sore teeth and gums, its best to only keep a portion of the candy. Try to avoid gummies, bubblegum, and caramel -- they can stick to your teeth and cause cavities. Sour candy is highly acidic and can damage tooth enamel. Candy like dark chocolate and sugar free gum are better options because of antioxidants that prevents and protects bacteria from sticking to teeth. In addition, stomach aches can also come with the post-Halloween blues.

"The main thing is probably there are too many carbohydrates in the sugar that they have a harder time breaking down. So they can get excess gas, diarrhea, sometimes they can get cramping from that as well," said Dr. Brad Erikson a family physician.

So the trick to the treating is: "Try to put some limit of how much candy they get per day or per hour so it becomes easier for them to adjust to it properly," said Erikson.

Local dentist offices are holding candy buy back events. Just4Kidds in Idaho Falls gives one dollar per pound -- up to five dollars per kid. The kids also get a toothbrush and a coupon for a kids meal at Outback.

"Let your kids pick out their favorite kinds I then I would get rid of the rest. Most kids get a lot of candy on Halloween and no kids needs -- no adult even needs -- to eat that much candy," said Stephany Vega, a dental assistant at Just4Kidds.

The candy goes to Operation Gratitude -- being sent overseas to our troops and first responders. They eat it themselves but they also use it to interact with the kids they come across. Last year, Just4Kidds collected 350-400 pounds of candy in just an hour and a half.

"The kids get excited about doing it. You would think that kids would be bummed about giving away their Halloween candy, but they're actually excited to get money for their candy. They get a new toothbrush and to know where it goes -- that kind of gets kids excited and makes it a little easier to let go of their candy knowing that it goes to support our troops and other kids across the world," said Vega.

Candy buy back programs are about more than keeping kids healthy, it's about showing gratitude and comforting troops with a little piece of home.


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