Who will eat all that candy?

Candy. Bags and bags of candy. And maybe one more bag of candy depending on how long the kids stay out trick-or-treating. Your kids will come home Monday night, spread the candy out on the floor, sort it by type and then trade with their siblings so they have what they were looking for.

By Tuesday of next week parents all over Mahomet will likely be finding ways to hide the kids’ candy so their teeth don’t rot out and their stomachs don’t hurt. Remember that we vote the following Tuesday, so if you eat when you’re stressed, you may want to keep some of that candy around.

But, being dentists and caring about your oral health, we don’t suggest that, either. So, what do we do with all the candy? We’d like to give you a few suggestions:

Use it throughout the year

We know everyone is going to eat candy during the year. We don’t suggest eating it all at once, though. Give your child a few pieces to ease their craving and then freeze the rest of it. Throughout the year you can give it to them as a reward or incorporate it into other desserts and sweets such as cookies or milkshakes.

Donate it to the school or MAYC

Mahomet-Seymour teachers often use candy as a reward at the end of the day or during the holidays. They even collect the homecoming parade candy with their class to use in their classroom throughout the year. But because we didn’t have a homecoming parade, some teachers are spending their own money to buy candy. Help them out by donating to your child’s teacher.

Eat candy after a meal

When you can, we suggest eating candy after a meal (We’re just saying, if you’re going to eat candy, eat it after, not before. Don’t eat it after every meal). Fruits, vegetables and some meats increase saliva production and help to cancel out acids produced by bacteria and rinse away food particles.

Some candies are better than others

Mouth Healthy suggests sticking to chocolate for your sweet tooth. “Chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy,” Dr. Ferraz- Dougherty says. “Dark chocolate also has less sugar than milk chocolate.”

They also point out the sticky candies and sour candies are hard to remove from the surface of your enamel and often include additional acids that can break down your enamel. Hard candy also has the potential to break off parts of your teeth.

Use it in an advent calendar

Countdown the 25 days until Christmas with your Halloween candy. Remove the candy from the Halloween packaging, put it into a container in the freezer to save until Dec. 1. After you build your advent calendar, stuff it with a treat for each day until Dec. 25.

Use it as a learning tool

Is your child struggling as they learn their basic math facts? Use the candy to help them add, subtract, multiply or divide. Give them a piece as a reward and toss the rest out.

Build a gingerbread house

Even if you buy a premade gingerbread house, you’re probably going to buy more candy, too. Use laffy taffy for shingles, M&Ms for lights along the rooftop and bite-size snickers for landscaping.

Put it in the pinata

Your child will have a birthday before Halloween rolls around next year. Instead of buying more candy, stuff the pinata with what you have leftover.

Send it overseas

Talk to your children about what it means to live overseas, especially when someone is protecting our freedoms in the military. Children may believe that American candy is all over the world, but that is simply untrue. Each culture and region has different preferences, and it is often hard for Americans to find their comfort candy. With programs like Operation Shoebox, we can help to send our at-home comforts to the men and women who may be missing a little piece of home.

Mahomet native Dr. Nezar Kassem returned to his hometown to open Mahomet Family Dentistry in 2002 after graduating from Western Illinois University in 1995 and the University of Illinois College of Dentistry in 1999.

Dr. Kassem provides comprehensive treatment plans for patients of all ages, while also using the latest technologies for restorative and cosmetic dental procedures, so patients can achieve excellent oral health. It is also important to Dr. Kassem that each patient is educated on proper routine oral-care techniques and that any concerns are promptly addressed—he and his staff take pride in spending ample time with each patient. He also enjoys talking to patients over the years, learning about their interests and family. Dr. Kassem’s staff has become an extension of his family as the practice has grown in the last 15 years.

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I may do it all, but I have not done it all.

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