October 31st, 2011
01:17 PM ET

4 tips for a healthy trick-or-treat night

Happy Halloween, everyone! For parents, this holiday may seem especially spooky when it comes to kids' teeth and weight. But here are some tips to keep your little treat-or-treaters in good health:

1. Chocolate is the best option for kids' teeth. It melts quickly, it's swallowed easily, and it contains tannins, compounds that don't allow bacteria to grow. And, at least it has some nutritional value. The worst options are candies that are very hard or chewy. The longer it takes to eat a candy, the more opportunity there is for sugar to coat teeth. Kids with braces should especially avoid candies that are hard and crunch, or soft and chewy.

Sanjay wants candy

2. Twice a day, and particularly at night, your child should get into this teeth cleaning routine: (a) floss, (b) brush, (c) use a fluoride rinse. That's because flossing loosens debris from in between teeth, and the toothbrush gets the excess on the surface. The rinse gets back in the crevices and fights decay.

3. Don't let kids snack on candy in between meals. Instead, bundle it together with healthy meals - for example, at the end of dinner. This prevents kids from eating too much at once.

4. When it comes to monitoring your children's eating habits, Halloween isn't that special. You should make sure they have nutritious, balanced meals and stay active throughout the year.

Gluten in cosmetics may pose hidden threat to celiac patients
October 31st, 2011
01:07 PM ET

Gluten in cosmetics may pose hidden threat to celiac patients

People with celiac disease are accustomed to being on the lookout for gluten in their food, but they should also be aware of the gluten lurking in their cosmetics and toiletries, researchers warned Monday at a national meeting of gastroenterologists in Washington, D.C.

Food labels almost always say whether  a product contains gluten, a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and other grains. But the packaging of body lotions and other beauty products rarely provides that information, even though many such products contain substances derived from grain, says Pia Prakash, M.D., a resident in internal medicine at George Washington University.

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Filed under: Health.com

Doctors urge HIV testing starting at 16
October 31st, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Doctors urge HIV testing starting at 16

The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that all teens 16 to 18 years old receive regular, routine HIV tests if they live in an area where the prevalence of HIV is greater than 0.1% of the population.

The AAP also advises that adolescents of any age who are tested for other sexually transmitted infections also be tested for HIV.

Previous guidelines recommended HIV testing only for teens who admitted to being sexually active. The new recommendations were outlined in a position paper released Monday that also advocates that the routine screening be done using a rapid response test that gives a diagnosis about 20 minutes after the test is conducted.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

October 2011
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