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United Concordia Reminds Parents to Protect Children's Teeth During Halloween & Year-Round

HARRISBURG, Pa., Oct. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- This Halloween, costumed children will visit their friends and neighbors in communities everywhere, and all will have the same goal in mind: to collect their weight in sugary treats. Although indulging the sweet tooth has become part of Halloween tradition, experts at United Concordia Companies, Inc. remind parents to pay particular attention to dental hygiene after kids dip into their candy sacks.

"If children eat sweets, then go to bed without flossing and brushing properly, the effect can be damaging to young teeth," said United Concordia's National Dental Director Richard Klich, DMD. "The key is moderation and establishing a brushing and flossing routine."

October is not just a time for trick-or-treating, but also National Dental Hygiene Month. Parents can keep their children smiling year-round by following some simple advice:

-- Establish and keep children on a daily flossing and brushing routine.

(Try having them brush to their favorite song -- most songs last 2-3

minutes -- this will encourage them to brush for the recommended two

minutes each time!)

-- Place a limit on how much candy children eat, and mix in healthy snacks

such as vegetables, yogurt and cheese.

-- Steer children away from candy that sticks to teeth. The best candy

choices can be chewed and swallowed quickly. (Plaque uses the sugar to

produce acids that can destroy the hard surface of teeth -- the longer

these sugars are in the mouth, the more damage can be done!)

-- Use candy as dessert instead of allowing them to graze. It's best to

eat candy after mealtimes when there is more moisture present in the

mouth to help wash away the extra sugar.

-- Make sure the candy is age appropriate. Hard candy can cause choking

and chipped teeth.

-- Finally, remember that even the smallest ghosts and goblins need dental

exams. Starting within six months of the child's first tooth and no

later than the child's first birthday, he or she should have an exam

twice a year.

"Often a trip to the dentist can detect more than just a cavity," said Klich. "As more and more research suggests a link between oral health and overall health, it is increasingly vital for children and adults to include regular dentist visits in their dental health regimen."

For more information on how dental health affects overall health, or for fun kids' dental activity pages, please visit our Web site at

About United Concordia

United Concordia Companies, Inc., headquartered in Harrisburg, PA., is one of the nation's largest dental insurers, with more than 7.3 million members worldwide. In 2006, United Concordia processed more than 12 million claims and attained revenues of nearly $1.2 billion. For more information about United Concordia products, visit

SOURCE United Concordia Companies, Inc.
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