While most of us consider Halloween to be one of the most fun times of the year, it doesn’t mean it’s a good enough reason to abuse your teeth. Maintaining excellent oral health is, after all, a vital aspect of our general health. So, unless you want to go to a dentist’s Halloween party this year, you must stay mindful of your sweet consumption. At our Stephen Spelman dental office, we’re all for indulging, but we also want to make sure you’re enjoying a healthy Halloween. Whether you have a sweet tooth or are searching for guidance on how to keep your child’s mouth cavity-free during Halloween, here are 9 recommendations for keeping teeth healthy.
Time To Eat Halloween Candies
If you want to give yourself the best chance to save your teeth, you must time your treats accordingly. Interestingly, eating candy during (or shortly after) mealtime helps digestion as your saliva production is already high. This helps break down the candy quicker while it is in your mouth, minimizing any chance of decay and plaque build-up.
1. Limit Family Candy Consumption
If you want your kids to limit their candy intake, you will have to play by the same rules. Suppose you all collectively make a promise not to consume large quantities as a family. In that case, you can all hold each other accountable and help to prevent a family dentist Halloween trip.
2. Stay Away From Sweet Snacks
Snacking any sort of candy treat will increase your risk of a Halloween dental mishap, but even more so if you prefer to snack on the sweet stuff. After all, sweet snacks are usually jam-packed with sugar, which, as you know, can be extremely harmful to your teeth and can cause cavities.
3. Steer Clear Of Sticky Or Chewy Candy
Sticky candy such as caramel, taffy, and gummy bears are notorious for causing dental issues, so do what you can to steer clear of them. The problem with these treats is that they cling to your teeth and are difficult to clean when brushing, meaning that the sugar has a longer amount of time to break down your enamel.
4. Avoid Anything Sour
The acidity of sour candies can cause serious harm to the enamel of your teeth. For those of you who don’t know, the enamel is the tooth’s hard outer covering protecting it. Unfortunately, enamel can actually start to disintegrate almost immediately after eating acidic food, so be aware of this if you want the Halloween dental blues.
5. Choose Sugar-Free Gums
The more you can limit your sugar consumption, the better. If you are going to opt for some candies, then why not go for sugar-free gums? They taste great and don’t damage your teeth – plus, they are usually very low in calories, so your waistline will thank you too!
6. Reduce Sugary Drinks
For the same reason listed above, sugary drinks are the enemy of good dental health. Drinking excessive amounts of sugary beverages such as soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks is a sure-fire way to book a dentist Halloween trip.
7. Drink More Water
Water helps to clean your teeth and gums, washing away any residue left behind from consuming candy.
8. Brush And Floss Teeth Soon After Eating Candy
This one is kind of a no-brainer, but you should try your best to brush your teeth after eating candies – especially if you eat sticky candy. As for flossing, decay-causing bacteria gets stuck between the teeth where toothbrush bristles can’t reach, which is why flossing is essential after eating large quantities of candies.
As they say: “good things come to those who floss – like healthy teeth & gums!”
9. Eat Dinner Before Trick-Or-Treating
Just as you should never go to the supermarket when you’re hungry, you should try to avoid going trick-or-treating with an empty stomach. Of course, when you’re hungry, you will be more likely to say yes to any candy that you’re offered, which means you’re increasing the chances of the dreaded Halloween dental trip.
Consider Dentist-Approved Healthy Alternatives To Halloween Candy
Not all Halloween treats have to harm your teeth, so why not start the trend of a healthy alternative to the sugary candies that people typically give out? Some examples of dentist Halloween-approved treats include pretzels, granola bars, cheese, sugar-free candy, nuts, and seeds.
Does Halloween Cause Cavities?
Of course not! Halloween itself doesn’t cause cavities. Whether or not this year’s events will end up being a Halloween dental disaster is all down to you. Try to stay in control of what you and your children consume, and make an effort to limit the number of sugary foods you eat. While it can be difficult to say no when there are so many tasty options around, your teeth will certainly thank you for it later down the line.
So, there you have it. While Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year (especially for children), you must remain responsible and set a good example by not consuming too many sugary treats. Fortunately, you don’t need to miss out on all the fun as there are tons of dental-friendly alternatives out there. Just make sure you have the self-discipline to swap out the taffy for a sugar-free treat, and you’ll be good to go!
To arrange dental cleanings and exams for the entire family, call our office today. Both are essential for preventing tooth decay, gum disease, and other essential issues.
Thanks for reading and Happy Halloween!