Post-Halloween Tips and Options for Keeping Teeth Healthy - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Post-Halloween Tips and Options for Keeping Teeth Healthy

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Dentists say having candy over long periods of time can be bad. Dentists say having candy over long periods of time can be bad.

KENENWICK, WA- Local dentists suggest to not keep Halloween around for long because constant exposure to teeth could cause dental issues.

If your candy buckets are not empty yet, you might want to hurry up and clear them.  A local dentist and hygienist revealed some options for kids and their parents to make sure their teeth stay nice and healthy. 

"The sooner they can get rid of their candy, the better," said Dr. James Collette, Pediatric Dentist at Dentistry for Kids in Kennewick.

"If anything, you want to eat it and not just keep snacking on it," said Katie Pferfer, hygienist at Dentistry for Kids.

The office said candy is not terrible to have.

"Candy, in itself, isn't necessarily bad for their teeth as long as they're careful when they eat it," said Dr. Collette.

The Centers for Disease Control, said tooth decay is the most common chronic disease of children aged six to 11 and adolescents 12 to 19 even though it is fairly simple to prevent. So how exactly do these problems happen?

"What causes tooth decay is how frequently they get those sugars exposed to their oral environment and to their mouth and to the bacteria that live there," said Dr. Collette.

"We recommend avoiding the candies that are really sticky like caramels, taffies, things like that that tend to get stuck in the grooves of the teeth," said Pferfer.

Dentistry for Kids recommends giving candy to kids right after dinner and of course to brush teeth at least twice a day. What if you have a large load of leftover candy or want to get rid of some you think might not be the best option for your child?  That is when Operation Cash for Candy comes to the rescue. 

"We actually will pay a dollar a pound to the children so they can bring in their leftover candy and that is donated to the troops," said Dr. Collette.

Halloween is only for a day...but you want to make sure you can keep your smile for a lifetime.

Operation Cash for Candy starts Monday and will last for a week.  For times and locations of the drop off spots, just click here...Operation Cash for Candy.