Halloween Dental Tips
Every year, Americans spend almost $10 billion dollars on candy. Parents know that a good part of that candy will land in their children’s trick-or-treat bags on October 31. Furthermore, it could end up damaging their teeth and resulting in costly dental work.
Contrary to popular belief, even many dentists get into the spooky spirit by handing out candy—only about 5 percent give toothbrushes to disappointed trick-or-treaters.
Don’t want to be a complete Halloween humbug? Here are some Halloween dental tips to limit potential dental damage to yours and your family’s precious pearly whites from your friendly neighborhood dental professionals:
Choose candy that can be eaten quickly
Time is of the essence when it comes to sugar and your teeth. Sweets like chocolate dissolve quickly lessening the amount of time that the sugar is in contact with your teeth. Chewy and hard candy can be particularly damaging because of the prolonged time it remains on teeth. Unless they are sugar-free, candies that stay in the mouth for a long time increase the risk of tooth decay.
Avoid the worst offenders
The worst treats include: gummy fruit snacks, caramels, taffy, lollipops, popcorn balls, jawbreakers and other candies of that nature that stay in your mouth or on your teeth for extended periods. Similarly, limit consumption of sour candies that contain acid to intensify the sourness.
Eat Halloween candy with meals
Instead of snacking, which can increase your risk of cavities, eat Halloween candy with meals or shortly after meals when saliva production is high. This will help to wash away acids and sticky particles.
Follow up candy consumption with a glass of water and/or a thorough tooth brushing.
One treat at a time
Trade sugary beverages for sweet treats. You can even make it a rule for kids—or yourself—that you are only allowed to drink water if you are having a piece of candy. Then your teeth aren’t put doubly at risk.
New toothbrush, anyone?
Treat your child to a new toothbrush and floss and remind them that it’s extra important to maintain healthy brushing and flossing habits at Halloween.
Chew sugarless gum
Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating Halloween candy can help you avoid decay by increasing saliva production to help wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria.
Keep your Family Dentist Appointment
Make sure you’re seeing your dentist at least every 6 months. No tricks about it!