By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
We all know that it’s important to take care of our teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, while staying away from super sugary foods. Oh, but Halloween is finally here, and there’s going to be a ton of candy to splurge on! It’s okay to go crazy just one day out of the whole year, right? According to Dr. Mark Burhenne, who has practiced family dentistry for 25 years, that kind of thinking can affect you and your teeth for the rest of your life!
First of all, exposing taste buds to such high amounts of sweetness can actually alter and corrupt the way we taste healthy sugars, like those in fruits. Even if it’s just one day, that’s enough to cause cravings for other sugary products like candy and soda. On an even more serious note, Burhenne states that sugar addiction activates the same brain areas as the dangerous drug cocaine!
“Would we let our children have cocaine ‘just once’ each year?” he asks. “In this way, Halloween candy may be a gateway to serious… diseases.” One of the illnesses it could lead to is obesity, which has been linked to very dangerous health risks.
Even your teeth will suffer, especially because our younger years are a really vulnerable time for tooth health. Instead, we should be extra careful during this time! “By delaying damage during childhood and the adolescent years, you bypass a crucial and vulnerable time in life,” states Burhenne.
Bad habits are also more likely to develop if we kid ourselves into thinking it’s just a one time thing. “It’s all about quantity, rather than an infrequent treat that is savored,” explains Burhenne. “Grandma was right when she said ‘everything in moderation.’ Those who live the longest, healthiest lives cite moderation as key to their longevity.” Basically, self-control should never take a vacation, even on Halloween.
So, if you want to have a long and healthy life, don’t scarf half the bag tonight!
Featured image courtesy of Paul Sapiano on Wikimedia.