Witches, goblins, vampires and candy! It’s that time of the year again, where taking candy from complete strangers is totally acceptable. Other than the general safety tips thatwe hear on the news about trick or treating, we can’t forget about the safety of our oral health. Here’s how you and your family can help keep your teeth healthy during Halloween and every other day of the year.
Before you dive into every piece of candy you receive, choose your choice of candy wisely. Staying away from hard candy or candy that stays in the mouth for a long period of time aids in preventing tooth decay. The longer the time sugar lingers in the mouth, the higher the risk of getting a cavity is. Unless it is sugar-free it is best to avoid hard candy. Also, another culprit that can increase the risk of tooth decay is sticky candy. Sticky candy like Starburst, Airheads, and gummy bears can easily get stuck between the teeth and take a longer time for saliva to wash away. Sticky candy clings to your teeth making it a great area for bacteria to form and tooth decay to occur; in addition the sticky nature of the candy makes it harder to clean. The best thing when choosing hard or sticky candy is to choose sugar-free candy when possible. Drinking plenty of water afterwards to flush away the excess sugar lingering on the teeth, also to brush and floss thoroughly afterwards.
Snacking isn’t always as bad as it sounds. The most important factor when it comes to snacking on your Halloween candy is timing. When the time is right, it helps decrease the risk for tooth decay. Limiting your snacking to only meal times or shortly after meal times decreases your chances of getting a cavity. During mealtime, your saliva production increases and it helps eliminate acids that are produced by bacteria in the mouth and aids in rinsing away lingering food particles. Constantly grabbing sweet snacks throughout the day is not great for your dental health. Choosing healthy snacks and limiting your sweet snacks to only mealtime is the best option if you want to maintain healthy teeth.
Grab a piece of sugar- free gum or gum that has the ADA seal of approval. “Chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after meals helps reduce tooth decay, because increased saliva flow helps wash out food and neutralize the acid produced by bacteria”.
Indulging in your favorite candy is not something to be ashamed about or completely avoided, snacking right and being prepared for the holiday season is the best way to insure you and your family stay healthy year round. Maintaining your routine dental visit every six months, brushing and flossing daily is a great foundation to having a great set of teeth. Schedule your dental checkup with us today and be prepared just in time for the holiday season!