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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Experts recommend limiting children's Halloween candy intake

In the frenzy of Halloween-themed sugary treats, some UF health experts are urging parents to pay attention to their children’s teeth and candy collections.

Karina Miller, a pediatric dentist at UF Health Shands Hospital, recommended avoiding sticky or liquid candies due to their tendency to stick in children’s teeth. She said she instead prefers fruit snack gummies but cautioned all candy contains sugar.

“There is no ‘better’ candy,” Miller said.

Monica Lefkof, a 21-year-old UF pre-dental food science and human nutrition senior, agreed that consuming consistent amounts of sugar is a habit worth reforming.

“I used to be a big sweets-eater but not anymore,” she said.

Miller said the Halloween season does not appear to spark a direct increase in doctors’ visits. But some dentists offer to buy back kids’ stashes of candy for $1 a pound to reduce the number of cavities, Time magazine reported.

Linda Bobroff, a UF nutrition and health professor, also advised parents to check the candy their children collect.

“What parents can do is look at it, and if anything is open, tampered with, then they can just throw it out,” Bobroff said. “When in doubt, throw it out.”

A version of this story ran on page 8 on 10/23/2013 under the headline "Halloween has scary effects on kids’ teeth"

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