Around this time of year, we notice that a lot of our younger patients (and a few adults too) get excited. They know Halloween is just around the corner.
That’s a good reason to dress up a superhero, a monster, or a celebrity. Plus, of course, there’s candy. Lots and lots of candy.
As a result, Halloween can be a tricky time of year for keeping teeth from decay and cavities. That’s why we are sharing a few tips to help you and your family keep your mouths healthy during this time of year.
Know What You Are Eating
Look, as dental professionals, we know that the best thing for your family’s teeth is to avoid candy completely. Realistically, we know people (including members of our team) are going to eat at least a few pieces of Halloween candy in the coming weeks.
The worse options are sticky and sour candies. Sticky candy (like caramels) cling to teeth, which is good for cavity-causing bacteria that use sugar. Sour candy often contains acids that can harm the enamel of teeth.
Milk chocolates are a little better. While still high in sugar, they can be rinsed off teeth easier than sticky candy. Pretzels and crackers can be a better alternative to sugary treats.
Dark chocolate is better because it also contains antioxidants, which can reduce your risk of decay. Lastly, sugar-free gum with xylitol can encourage the growth of non-acidic bacteria.
The bacteria that cause cavities are more likely to do so when candy clings to teeth or remains stuck between teeth. Drinking water while eating candy can help rinse them away.
As much as your kids would love to devour all their candy in one sitting, that’s a recipe for multiple problems. Limiting how much candy your kids it at one time and in total are both good things.
Give It Away
To help you set limits (and remove some of the temptations that come with having too much candy in the house), look for placed to donate candy. Searching online, you may be able to find organizations that collect candy for kids who can’t go trick-or-treating or for members of the military who are stationed overseas.
Always Remember The Basics
No matter what time of year it is, you also need to remember to practice good oral health habits. Following the recommendations of the American Dental Association is a great place to start.
At home, you should brush your teeth twice daily. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and clean your teeth on all sides with a squeeze of fluoride toothpaste. Also, remember to floss every day to clean the spaces between your teeth and gums.
Last, but not least, remember to visit our family dentist office for professional dental cleanings and exams. This can prevent problems or catch cavities in the earliest stages.