We all love a good treat but we have to be careful. Every Halloween, sugar is the main treat of the day, but, it can also trick a few. This Halloween we want you to enjoy your treats and not have to deal with a dental nightmare, later on. Here are 7 Tips for you and your family to try for a healthy Halloween this year.
1. Have a Plan
Dental hygiene is important at all times of the year, but it’s especially important during Halloween. We all know that one of the main highlights of the day is to get as much candy as possible.
But, we cannot forget that the sugar-laden treats and sugary drinks that abound during this time of the year can wreak havoc on your teeth.
It is important to have a dental Halloween plan in place.
So what do we mean by a dental Halloween plan? Studies show that the best way to avoid cavities is by practicing good dental hygiene habits and reducing the amount of sugar consumed.
Having a plan in place will ensure that your family follows and has healthy guidelines and limits around the amount of sugar consumed during Halloween.
For example, your plan can state the limit for each family member and what to do with the remaining candy. You can take your share and donate the rest to the less fortunate.
2. Time it Right
Knowing the right time to eat something helps our bodies develop reliable hunger cues and digestion patterns.
Did you know that there is a good time to eat your Halloween candy? Yes, we know, it’s shocking! But the best time to eat your candy is during your meal times.
Eating Halloween candy (and other sugary foods) with meals or shortly after mealtime is ideal because of saliva.
Saliva production increases during meals. This helps cancel out acids produced by bacteria in your mouth and rinses away food particles. You need to know the right times to eat your candy.
3. Drink more water
Water, especially fluoridated water, is the best beverage for maintaining your oral health. That’s because fluoride helps to make teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that can cause cavities
The cavity-causing bacteria in your mouth love to eat sugar and produce acid that wears away your tooth enamel. Water, however, cleans your mouth with every sip.
It washes away leftover food and residue that cavity-causing bacteria are looking for. It also dilutes the acids produced by the bacteria in your mouth.
P.S: You’ll still need to brush twice a day for two minutes but drinking water throughout Halloween will go a long way toward keeping your smile cavity-free.
4. Brush Twice A Day
We know, we always say this, but we’ll say it again. It is of the utmost importance that you brush your teeth twice a day.
Whether it is Halloween or not, brushing your teeth twice a day is an important part of your dental care routine. It ensures the removal of plaque, which is the primary cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
Therefore one of the easiest tips to follow for a healthy Halloween is to brush your teeth after eating candy. Generally, it is important to brush your teeth after eating anything but the high sugar content present in the candy will result in or cause plaque buildup.
Brushing your teeth after candy will help remove the sugar from the surface of your teeth & prevent tooth decay.
5. Clean In Between Your Teeth
Cleaning in between your teeth, also known as flossing is another easy way to ensure that you have a healthy Halloween.
Flossing keeps your teeth clean by removing the plaque and bacteria from between your teeth, which a toothbrush can’t reach. As your local dentist, we recommend that you floss daily, more so after a night full of treats.
Regular flossing helps prevent gum disease as it removes the plaque which causes inflammation of the gums (gingivitis). That, combined with the regular use of toothpaste and fluoride rinses, will help prevent tooth decay by killing all bacteria that cause decay before they form any tartar on your teeth.
6. Choose Your Candy Wisely
One of the most exciting things about Halloween is all the various types of candy available. There are so many different kinds, from chocolate bars and lollipops to gummy bears and caramel apples.
The variety of candy available at Halloween has increased over the years, with more flavors and brands coming out every year. With all these different options, you need to choose your candy wisely.
Avoid hard, sticky, and other candies that stay in your mouth for a long time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a role in tooth decay as it subjects the teeth to an increased risk for tooth decay.
Sticky candies cling to your teeth. The stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed away by saliva, increasing the risk of tooth decay.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), chocolate is one of the better candies because it washes off your teeth easier than other types of candy. Dark chocolate is also a better choice as it has less sugar than milk chocolate.”
7. Chew ADA Approved Gum
Chewing sugarless gum has been shown to increase the flow of saliva, thereby reducing plaque acid, strengthening the teeth, and reducing tooth decay.
In our case, chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after eating candy will help reduce tooth decay as it will increase your saliva flow, helping to wash out the sugar and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria.
Of course, chewing sugar-containing gum also increases saliva flow, but because of the sugar, it contains; plaque bacteria will use this to produce decay-causing acids.
So as you shop for your Halloween candy, make sure to pick some chewing gum with the ADA Seal. The ADA seal will guarantee that the gum is sugarless as the gum is sweetened by non-cavity-causing sweeteners such as aspartame, xylitol, sorbitol, or mannitol.
Now that we’ve got that off our chest, we want you to know that as you get ready for Halloween, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the process!
Dress up in all sorts of costumes, eat a variety of tasty treats, apply these tips and have fun with your friends and family. We’ll see you at your next dental cleaning, and if you haven’t scheduled that, feel free to drop by the office or schedule it now.