Valentine’s Day is Feb. 14. It is a day to express love. You can love yourself, your neighbor, your spouse, your kids and even your kids’ teeth! Valentine’s Day is now one of the three largest consumer holidays in the United States. According to WalletHub, 94 percent of Americans want chocolate as a gift. This adds up to over 1.8 billion dollars in sales. That is not even counting, how much money is made on flowers for this special day. It is a day, without question, that invites sugar into our mouths, sometimes at an inexplicable pace.
Schools across the country will have Valentine’s Day parties in their classrooms. Millions of children will exchange those cute little cards with witty sayings, often accompanied by some sort of sugary treat. This Valentine’s Day, I urge parents out there to be creative with your child’s valentines. Including something non edible and fun is the way to love your child’s teeth on this sugar overloaded day. Some ideas for Valentine’s include: heart shaped crayons, bubbles, glow sticks, stickers, bouncy balls, slime, play dough etc. The main theme of these alternative gifts is they are inedible and promote fun.
Of course, it is virtually impossible to avoid all types of candy on Valentine’s Day. If this pediatric dentist had to choose one type to enjoy, it would be dark chocolate. Dark chocolate has a lower content of sugar in general. New studies have shown it is a source of polyphenols, natural chemicals that can limit oral bacteria. There are also antioxidants in dark chocolate that have been shown to fight periodontal or gum disease. Show your teeth and your kids’ teeth some love this Valentine’s Day, because they are worth it!
Dr. Jamie Sahouria is Rohnert Park's only full time, board certified pediatric dentist. She works at 1303 Medical Center Drive, where she and partner doctors provide dental care and braces for kids and adults. Dr. Jamie is a Rohnert Park native and is a proud graduate of The Ranch. She can be reached via her website at www.BrushFlosssSmile.com