Halloween is just around the corner! Children dressed as princesses, superheroes, and their favorite movie characters will fill the neighborhoods, searching for sweet treats. Unfortunately, the holiday can pose a real problem to your family’s teeth if unprepared. To help you enjoy Halloween while safeguarding your pearly whites, we’ve put together six essential dental tips that every ghost and ghoul should follow.
Halloween Dental Tips:
1.)Moderation is key: When it comes to enjoying Halloween candy, moderation is the golden rule. It’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of trick-or-treating or indulging in your favorite sweets, but remember that excessive sugar consumption can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Instead of consuming candy throughout the day, try to designate specific times for treats. This not only limits your sugar intake but also allows your mouth to produce saliva, which helps neutralize harmful acids and wash away food particles.
2.) Drink water: Water is a powerful ally when it comes to maintaining good dental hygiene, especially during Halloween. Make it a habit to drink water after enjoying sugary snacks and candies. Water helps rinse away sugar and food particles that can cling to your teeth, reducing the risk of tooth decay.
Additionally, staying hydrated with water promotes the production of salvia, which is a natural defense mechanism against tooth decay. Saliva contains minerals that help strengthen your tooth enamel and buffer acids in the mouth. So, keep a water bottle handy while you treat yourself to a few candies to keep your teeth healthy.
3.) Keep sticky, gummy candies to a minimum: Sticky treats like carmel, taffy and gummies are some of the worst candies for your dental health. These sweets tend to get down in the crevices of your teeth, making it difficult for saliva to wash them away. As a result, the residue lingers in your mouth providing a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. Tread carefully when eating these candies!
4.) Avoid hard candies and sour treats: Another type of candy that’s not good for your teeth either is hard candies like lollipops and jolly ranchers that stay in your child’s mouth for an extended period of time. This leaves plenty of time for your teeth to get coated in sugar and for bacteria to start to turn that sugar into acid.
Another sweet to avoid is sour candies. While these treats sure are tasty, they are also high in dietary acid that attack the hard, protective coating on your teeth known as enamel. Only eat these in limited quantities.
5.) Brush teeth as soon as possible: As always, brushing teeth is the best way to keep them cavity-free. Ideally, brush and floss your teeth within a 30 minute to 1 hour window after consuming candy. If you’re not able to brush your teeth that quickly, chew sugar free gum containing xylitol, a natural sugar substitute that can help prevent cavities.
6.) Consider donating your leftover candy: Ever feel like you have mounds of leftover candy? Some communities host candy buyback programs where children can exchange their candy for a prize! Search the web for a buyback near you.
Halloween is a time to have fun and enjoy delicious treats, but it’s crucial not to neglect your dental health in the process. By following these 6 tips — modersation, drinking water, limiting sticky candies, avoiding candies that last, brushing as soon as possible, and considering a buyback program — you can have a spooktacular holiday while preserving your pearly whites.